Six tips for difficult conversations about corona measures

Peter de Vries is an expert in the field of parent involvement and is working on a doctoral research on this subject. He previously worked as a teacher in primary and special education. It Education magazine asked him tips for difficult conversations in corona time.



  1. Ignore apps with swear words

    “I swear by this tip. Stop reading immediately if you receive an emotional email or app with bad words and anger. Make an appointment directly to discuss it by phone or live. If you read on, it hurts three parties: Yourself, because you are in pain and doubt may arise from personal comments. It also causes damage to parents who will look at you differently. And it is negative for the learner because children are always loyal to their parents. They distrust the teacher when the parent-teacher relationship is disrupted.”

  2. stay respectful

    “Sometimes you have to vent to colleagues. Only say things you would say if the parents or student were there. Stay respectful, because you want to mend the relationship. Moreover, it influences colleagues who themselves start to look at the parents differently.”

  3. Be consistent

    In times of corona it is important that you remain consistent and that you always make it clear that you are following the guidelines of the cabinet. Schools are public institutions. Don't pretend to be the government. This way you avoid discussions about policy choices.”

  4. be understanding

    “Everyone is confused by corona, it is an uncertain time. Try to understand that, even if people react strongly. Characters emerge stronger during the pandemic, especially when there is stress.”

  5. Name the common goal

    “Parents want the best for their child. Teachers and school leaders want the same for their students. Emphasize this common goal. This can be done in a conversation as follows: first ask about the parent's goal and state your goal. Then you state that there are different tasks associated with your goals. As a third step, name the procedure and what it means in practice. Ask for every step commitment, because that helps in the conversation and ensures understanding.”

  6. Ignore satisfaction

    “A great evil are the satisfaction surveys. Satisfaction does not measure quality. Instead, focus on the right approach. They don't have to like you."

  7. Become a member and receive the Education magazine

    Read also this article from the Education magazine that contained these tips. Would you like to receive the magazine every month? Join the AOb!