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Student Motivation, Failures, and Parental Contact

written by: Lady Lit•edited by: Trent Lorcher•updated: 12/29/2008

This article examines the importance of contacting parents of failing students.

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    Not Easy but Effective

    Never underestimate the influence of parental involvment on student motivation.

    As a teacher, it is your responsibility to contact the parents of those students who are failing your class. As a general rule, I call parents when failure reports go home, when progress reports go home as well as prior to nine week and final exams. I call the parents of students who are failing with no hopes of passing, those parents of students who are borderline, those who may pass, and those who may fail.

    It is not always a pleasant phone call to have to make, but parents are much easier to deal with when they know of their student’s grades ahead of time and while they can still influence little Johnny or Susie to study a little more diligently.

    Nine times out of ten when you call the parent of a student who is borderline, that student is going to buckle down and pull out a passing average.

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    Parental Involvment Promotes Student Motivation

    Generally, parents can motivate their children to perform at a level at which the child is capable. Parents tend to motivate their sons/daughters by taking away cellular telephones, vehicles, all-terrain vehicles, televisions, or other items which teenagers tend to like.

    When parents take away these items, students get the message that if they want their prized-possessions returned, they need to hit the books and pull up their grades.

    On the other hand, parents are tax payers, and if you are a teacher in a public school, parents pay your salary. Parents have a right to know how their children are doing in your class. If you keep parents updated throughout the year, parents tend to be supportive of your efforts, and you will avoid those upset parents at the end of the semester. In turn, your life is a bit less stressed, and you do not have any parents wishing bad things to befall you.