The recent years have changed the way we live. Everything is more connected, more convenient and much more virtual. The ongoing pandemic hit several sectors, especially schools & education. A change had to be adopted and adapted (and soon!). Children couldn’t afford to miss the education of their foundational years. A solution had to be found wherein teachers could interact in a setting as close to a classroom as possible. Where doubts could be asked and clarified, homework assigned and submitted. Where life could go on in the previous routine, minus getting out of the house. And thus, the online classes came to our rescue. The entire system of schooling was turned virtual. Tuitions, classes and breaks – you name it, and it was adapted. Today we discuss one such part of the curriculum. Something that involves both the parents and teachers, indeed, it’s the parent-teacher meeting (aka PTM).
Importance of virtual parent teacher meetings.
1. Easier, simpler system
Virtual parent-teacher meetings are much simpler to conduct because there is no additional hassle of travel or queuing. Parents who are busy usually end up missing this important day due to some other work. However, because of the facility of holding the meeting at home itself, from personal devices, it becomes far easier and convenient to attend one. In fact, a recording of the teacher’s basic impression can also be sent personally in case the parent is not able to have a real-time discussion.
2. Multiple additional features
Virtual meetings allow teachers to present and share information in a collated manner. They can share sheets or docs with all the information related to the student and give a fair idea of the student’s calibre. This makes virtual meetups much more livelier. It leads to an open discussion from both parties and avoids confusion.
3. Open, comfortable communication
As stated earlier, parent teacher meetings are a great ground to build a rapport between both parties. This allows for open communication which leads to the betterment of the child. Virtual parent teacher meetings provide a topic for both sides to bond over and make things much simpler. With a one-on-one interaction without the presence of other students or families around, virtual meetings become much more personal and comfortable. There is also no pressure of attention with virtual meetings!
4. Peek at the “other side”
The opinions of both the parents and the teachers help in gaining an understanding of the child inside out. The kid’s developmental skills and his/her interpersonal skills are discussed for overall positive growth. It helps to paint the complete picture of what the child needs. With the current virtual scenario, parents get the added advantage of being in the constant presence of the child through the day and gaining a better understanding of their being. Teachers get a peek into what the child behaves like in a non-formal setting. It helps in determining
5. Child feels responsible
The system of PTMs brings a level of sincerity into the child’s attitude. He/she is made accountable for the way they behave and act at school and home. They are made to feel responsible for their work and this sets them up for the future.
6. Encouraging the habit of home learning
With everyone being homebound, the activities of the school have been brought inside. This includes learning which was earlier reinforced with homework. However, PTMs could prove to be great mediators of this habit by involving parents to encourage their child towards home learning. With more time to spend at home, greater attention can be paid to the needs and wants of the child.
With schools across the country mandating all school activities to be virtual, it’s no surprise that the approaching parent-teacher meet-ups are going to be virtual. While many teachers and parents might prefer such meetings to be offline, online parent teacher meetings too provide plenty of opportunities for it to be a beneficial experience. Such meetings are essential for both sides to understand the child better. Therefore, these events are of utmost importance. The teachers get to share their impression of the student, while the parents get to shed light on key personal factors which might help better the child’s education. Building a good rapport is necessary for the success of a child’s educational skills.
Tips to conduct a successful online parent-teacher meeting
1. Teachers should seek insight
Teachers should pay greater attention to the child’s well-being emotionally. Parents will be able to provide an unseen facet of the child’s life. This can be very helpful in developing their skills.
2. Make the parent aware
Teachers should keep the parents informed about the standards at the school. This ensures that both parties are aware of where the child stands. This should be taken into account for attendance, homework, marks etc.
3. Gain perspective
As mentioned previously, gaining a sense of understanding can come from various sources. Parents’ idea of their child’s performance and how they contribute helps the teacher understand what more can be done for the child’s development.
4. Utilize technology
Make use of all the features that online meetings provide you. Teachers can showcase their records and history of the student’s performance on other applications and share screens.
5. Follow up
Keeping track and following up with the parent/teacher helps in establishing that you care. It also gives an indication of how fast the child learns or adapts.
1. Be Punctual
Make sure that you are present for the virtual meet up on time. Delay on your part will reflect the care the child gets from you. Being punctual shows that you respect the other party’s time and are prepared to give insight.
2. Be ready with enquiries
Make sure that you are ready with a list of your end of questions. This gives a direction to the conversation. Do not hesitate with such doubts as they are practical and might bring to light any particular point that might be keeping the child behind.
3. Give each other enough space
Try to understand where the concern is rooted from. Do not argue to establish your point. Work towards the overall betterment of the child.
4. Be productive
To ensure that the online parent-teacher meeting was not just time spent towards unnecessary conversation, arrive at a conclusion and then build a plan. Simply agreeing upon a given subject does not provide any path for the student to grow. Make sure that there is an action plan laid out until the next meeting where you can compare the progress.
5. Be honest
With the ongoing pandemic, it is sometimes very hard for people to cope. Be honest about the problems you might be facing that might affect or hinder the child’s development. If you are caught up finding a new job as a parent or taking care of your own child as a teacher, the pandemic might encapsulate a lot more of one’s life in their duty. Be open and let the other party understand your situation.
Critical questions to ask yourself before hosting a hybrid PTM
1. Schedule beforehand
Being a busy professional doesn’t give you a lot of time to schedule meetings. Time spent in scheduling and communicating about the meeting can be saved. Additionally, this might also affect your impression of the other party when punctuality is considered. Make work simpler and schedule meetings with Nunify. You will also get a reminder for the same.
2. Attention to detail
Virtual meetings are simple. But they require the involvement of various other factors such as your internet connection, your video conferencing service, mics etc. Do a double check on their services and make sure these run fine before the meeting. Additionally, choose a branded and trusted video concerning service such as Nunify for conducting the virtual meeting. This ensures that there are no glitches. Make sure you have a stable internet connection. Keeping all these factors in check ensures that you avoid seeming lousy.
3. Assist and be understanding
Provide instructions and assist the other party in case they are new to the service. Be kind and explain the procedure with step by step instructions for easy usability.
Virtual meetings give you the option to be on the video or be off it. Clarify that both options are accepted as some people might be conscious. Additionally, share documents in a secure manner. Furthermore, virtual video calling apps also provide you with the option to operate on phones as well as other devices. Find what’s best for you and make the most out of the meeting.
Virtual parent-teacher conferences are an excellent ground for communication and cooperation when conducted well. Utilize the potential that such a technology holds and work to help the child bloom. As schools open, the evolution of PTMs is to hybrid parent-teacher meetings. Earlier parents miss PTM due to schedule conflict, unavailability. But now they can have a virtual meeting. We have already seen the adoption of hybrid events for graduation and no reason PTMs should be left behind. Here are some critical questions to ask yourself before hosting a hybrid PTM