Since starting to use Twitter to engage in education conversations I have connected with numerous individuals who give of their time, offer suggestions, participate in twitter chats, and blog to support positive conversations and relationships between parents and teachers. I believe I have done my share as well – in conversations, on this blog and on other online sites. In a recent post of mine, it felt a bit like pouring my heart out about the topic and I also provided some resources that I thought would help understanding and practices to support conversations between educators and parents. Other bloggers in my network also blog about meeting parents where they are, listening to them, and adjusting approaches for their own school community (many are linked in my posts).
I know I am not alone in avoiding generalizing and the labelling of parents. It was disheartening to see an article like this posted to a teachers’ resource site. I recognize that it is not the first article of its kind that has circulated to help understand parents (there is another one linked in the comments). I can understand that parents can be difficult to work with, but then people can be difficult to work with. Is there value in such articles that provide “personality types” or labels of parents – both moms and dads in this one. The comments are mixed on the article, so maybe I am missing something. Maybe it is reassuring or meant as humour. But does labelling or classifying types really help the conversations and relationships with parents and the support of children? How do parents feel when they see this kind of resource?