How to Talk to Your Child’s Principal

It’s never easy when a child is having problems at school. As a parent, how do you communicate effectively and make sure issues are resolved before they get out of hand or negatively effect your child?

• If your child has a problem, make sure you speak to the teacher involved first. Only go to the principal if the problem cannot be resolved with the teacher.

• If you wish to speak with the principal, for whatever reason, make an appointment; don’t try to talk with them on the run.

• In talking with the teacher or the principal, be specific about the problem as you see it and what it is you hope to have happen as a result of the meeting.

• Remember to explain who your child is and whose classroom he or she is in.

• The best strategy when talking to either the teacher or principal is to remain calm, listen to the answers you get, and offer your own proposals courteously.

• Don’t make excuses for your child. If you are trying to be an advocate for your child, it is important to be honest with everyone involved.

• Beyond problems, do ask the principal about enrichment opportunities that are available for students outside of class, how you can help and support your child at home, and ways that you can get involved in what is going on in school.

Find out more about the Department of Educational
Leadership and Policy Studies at
elps.utk.edu.

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