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Kovar Systems
Student Retention

Checklists for Communicating with Parents and Students

By Dave Kovar

General_Icons-25Aside from teaching great classes, communication with students and parents is a vital part of maintaining a great program.  There are different strategies for talking to junior students, their parents and adult students, however. Here are three checklists to help:

When communicating with junior students:

  • Give frequent, sincere praise.
  • Spread the wealth as evenly as possible. (Talk to everyone)
  • Connect with each and every student during every class (Make sure they know that you know they are there).
  • Only use humor that builds the student up.
  • If you are wondering if a certain comment is appropriate, don’t say it (In the wondering is the answer).
  • Do your best to be as enthusiastic as possible.
  • Show no favorites (It’s natural to have a favorite, but no one should be able to tell who it is).
  • NEVER say anything to a child that you wouldn’t say if their parents were listening.

 

When communicating with parents:

  • Whenever possible, give positive feedback to parents regarding their child’s progress (NOTHING makes a parent happier than hearing about how good their child is doing).
  • "Spread the wealth" as evenly as possible. (Talk to everyone.)
  • Never speak down to a parent.  In many cases, they are older and have more life experience than you.  They should always be treated with respect.
  • Know the parents; what their interests are; what groups they belong to.
  • Ask leading questions, such as “What benefits have you seen in your child?” or “how has Martial Arts helped your child?”
  • Use Praise/Correct/Praise structure with parents when discussing areas of concern about their child.

 

When communicating with adult students

  • Give frequent, sincere praise.
  • "Spread the wealth" as evenly as possible. (Talk to everyone.)
  • Connect with each and every student during every class (Make sure they know that you know they are there).
  • Only use humor that builds the student up.
  • If you are wondering if a certain comment is appropriate, don’t say it.
  • Do your best to be as enthusiastic as possible.
  • Show no favorites (It’s natural to have a favorite, but no one should be able to tell who it is).
  • Generally speaking, adults want specifics on how they can improve.  Give it to them.
  • Never speak down to them.  In many cases, they are older and have more life experience than you.  Always treat them with respect.
  • Get to know them: what do they do; what are their interests; what groups do they belong to, etc.

 


by Dave Kovar