How Teachers Can Work With 5 Different Parent Personality Types
As teachers, we mentor, manage and guide the most valuable gems of any parent: the children. Having a successful relationship between teachers and parents means understanding diverse personality types. We’ve written about 5 distinct, general personalities that are commonly observed by teachers.
Understanding these broad personality types will help teachers communicate the strengths and weaknesses of students. Especially during parent-teacher meetings, knowing how to correspond effectively with each parent personality type will help parents feel respected.
The Executive Parent
The executive parent is also referred to as the “boss” parent. This type of parent leads their child with a set of clearly defined do’s and don’ts. This personality type listens to the teacher’s feedback and makes sure that the child is on the right track. Teachers can relate with this parenting type the most, because as a teacher, maintaining authority over the students is an important factor in successful classroom management.
Teachers should emphasize the strengths of the executive parents child. They should highlight the projects in which the student excelled and recent improvements in assignments and even social interactions that exemplify winning character traits. The executive parent responds well to this encouragement because they listen to their child’s teachers and take their feedback seriously.
The MIA Parent
The Missing in Action parent is sometimes called the “ghost” parent. This type of parent personality is characterized by a complete lack of presence at parent-teacher meetings, award ceremonies, fundraisers, and afterschool games. These parents may be very busy with work or they may have other small children at home who demand most of their attention.
As a teacher, always try to focus on finding the positive side of every situation. Email either one or both parents a few available times that you have for a phone conversation. Even if the student isn’t having trouble in school, making time for a phone call to discuss their child’s academic and social progress is important.
The Soft Hearted Parent
The soft hearted parent is the parent who doesn’t enforce the turning in of assignments and homework. They may give in to protests if their child doesn’t want to complete homework or turn in overdue projects. These parents may send a note with their children excusing them from certain days of school for reasons that may seem arbitrary or too frequent. This can make you feel as though the parent is sending the wrong message to the student who may begin to understand that school just isn’t that important. A partnership with these parents is difficult because they often don’t continue to reinforce the disciplinary rules in the home that are practiced in the classroom.
Communication plays a critical role between this parent personality and the teacher. Especially the weeks prior to standardized testing periods, teachers are struggling to prepare their students for difficult and comprehensive examinations. Students should be completing assignments, participating in class discussions and getting enough rest and encouragement at home. Set up a meeting with this parent. Find them after school and chat for a few minutes twice a week. The more that you find yourself face-to-face with these parents, the more likely they’ll be positively responsive to your concerns.
The Heavily Involved Parent
The heavily involved parent is often very concerned with their child’s grades. They may even seem more concerned about grades than they are about how much of the material their child is learning and retaining. The most important factor to have while speaking with this parent is respect. Understand that they have high standards for their child. They want their child to grow into a successful adult who can manage a high position in society and do well in their careers.
Be sure to talk with these parent personality types about how well their students would understand and excel in the subject if they spent more time feeling less pressured. Students with the confidence to ask all they questions they may have are often times happier and more academically successful students.
The “Afterschooling” Parent
“Afterschooling” is growing in popularity. This term frequently refers to when a student attends supplementary courses or receives parent-led instruction after regular school hours. This may be piano lessons, STEM clubs, or dance and sports activities. The afterschooling parent is ambitious. They want their student to excel in multiple intelligences quickly, and they’re supportive and encouraging of superior performance both in and outside of the classroom.
This is an excellent opportunity to discuss with the parent time management. Partner with the parent in coming up with simple ways to show the child that school comes first. Combined with strong time management coaching, the child will be able to prioritize homework assignments along with their afterschool activities.
Communication Is Key
Keeping parents up to date with their child’s progress is a great way to build a positive relationship with all 5 personality types. Be sure to respect parents while looking for ways to partner with parents in the positive guidance of their children.
Jyoti Bhatia is a passionate writer, who believes that parenting doesn’t come easy, a lot of patience, discipline, respect, love and open and honest communications is needed to bring out the best in children.