It never feels good to receive complaints from parents. Whether they’re big or small, hearing from your supervisor or a co-teacher the next day about a parent call can kill your self-esteem a little. Sometimes the complaints can be legitimate, and other times they can be trivial, or stem from a misunderstanding.
Sometimes the complaints make you react like this:
Other times, upon self-reflection, you may react this way:
But in any case, it’s best to follow these steps:
- Calmly explain what happened at the time of the complaint. State, as clearly and objectively as you can remember, what was said/done/etc. And then state what you as the teacher did to resolve the conflict.
- Have written or video (if applicable/legal) evidence of what happened and what was done, in case the parent(s) want to schedule a conference.
- Don’t let it affect you too much as a teacher. It’s okay to make mistakes, in fact, it’s how we can learn and grow.
- Admit when you’re wrong, and apologize to the student(s). That very act shows you respect them as well as yourself. And in turn, they may respect you even more than before. It’s important to rebuild broken relationships.
- Use the complaint(s) as a platform for self-reflection and evaluate how you can improve your classroom management techniques, or your teaching style.
Learn to go from feeling like this:
To feeling like this:
I hope this short post has been helpful to you in some way.
If you have any suggestions of your own, please share them in the comments!
Thank you for reading!