Student Care

Problem-Solving Strategies for Parents and Teachers

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Discover effective problem-solving strategies for parents and teachers, fostering resilience and collaboration in children’s learning and development.

How to approach school problems with teachers


Pause to calm down

If something has just happened to upset your child, this can upset you too. Try to take some time to calm down before you do anything. This will help you avoid doing something you might regret later.

Be a positive role model
Even with a serious problem, you can model positive problem-solving for your child by being positive, thinking about solutions, and talking about working with the teacher.
Speak respectfully
No matter what you think, it’s important to speak positively and respectfully about your child’s teacher, the school and other children in front of your child.

Go through the right channels

This usually means talking directly to your child’s teacher to start with, rather than the principal. Going straight to the principal can make the problem bigger than it is. It’s best to make an appointment with the teacher. This way you can discuss the issue privately and the teacher can give you their full attention.

Avoid defensiveness
When there are problems, people sometimes feel defensive. Defensiveness can get in the way of problem-solving, so it’s good to try seeing the teacher’s perspective and to help the teacher see your perspective too.
Problem-solving steps to use when meeting with teachers1. Identify the problem
Be clear and specific about what the problem is – for example, what’s happening, how often, who’s involved and who’s affected. It can help to use a question.

2. Identify wants, needs and concerns

Allow everyone to identify their needs, wants and concerns. If you want your child’s teacher to appreciate your concerns, it’ll help if you show that you appreciate the teacher’s position.

3. Come up with possible solutions

Work with the teacher to come up with as many possible solutions to the problem as you can. Your child’s teacher has a lot of experience dealing with problems.

4. Evaluate the solutions

Once you and the teacher have listed as many ideas as possible, think about the advantages, disadvantages and consequences of each solution. If a solution has more disadvantages or negative consequences than advantages, cross it off your list.

5. Choose one and give it a go

Pick the best idea, or a combination of ideas, to try out. Write down what you and the teacher have agreed, who will do what and when.

6. Assess how it went

  • What has worked well?
  • What hasn’t worked well?
  • What could we do differently to help the solution work better?

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