January 16, 2016 by morningcamequickly
Okay, so you have picked the perfect musical for your students, kids know about upcoming auditions, and your musical team is in place. Now, it is time to get the parents on board and let them know that the activity that is going to take over the next few months is worthwhile. Here are 5 tips for your parent meeting.
- Respect parents time. Chances are the parents of your students work, have more than one child in school, and are already stressed out or overwhelmed by the responsibilities that come along with parenting. Don’t give them more to worry about. Plan your meeting wisely by seeing what else is on the schedule that might involve your students.
- Be prepared. Don’t have a meeting and then not know what you need to tell them. Have your stuff in order and go through it efficiently. Hit the highlights of what is really important for them to know and let them read through anything else.
- Start your meeting on time. Read number one again. Everyone is busy. This meeting might not be the parents priority, but they are there and you don’t want to get off to a bad start by starting the meeting 15 minutes late. If you start on time and people aren’t there, well, they’ll know next time to get there on time!
- Begin to get a feel for where parents want to help. Use this paper (Volunteer Parent Jobs Form) to start to gauge where you might need help. This can also help you get any last minute team leaders you might need. I have this as the last paper in the packet they get. Then, parents can fill it out, tear it off, and leave it in a basket on their way out. It’s not a formal commitment, but it gives you an idea of who you have.
- Be available. After the meeting is over stick around and talk to parents and answer any individual questions. It will put parents at ease. New parents to the program will appreciate how you take time to answer their questions. They need to get to know the routine and they have concerns of how their child will do it all. Be confident and ready to answer their questions.
By following these 5 steps, your meeting will be successful. While the musical might be your life, the honest truth is, it’s just another thing to run a kid to for a lot of people. But that is what parents do because they love their kids. Be respectful of them.
I always try to start on time, not dawdle, and get finished. My first musical meeting lasted about 25 minutes. I went through everything that I wanted to highlight and then looked up and said, “That’s all I’ve got”. People stayed around and talked with each other and with me. Those that were all set headed out.
This year I combined a trip meeting and a musical meeting in the same evening because I knew so many students would be involved in both. One night, two short meetings, and parents had all they needed. I appreciated it too, as I didn’t have to stay late two evenings!
Small things really help to give you credibility as you go through musical season. Having parent support will make the world of difference as you will see their child more than they will on some days. That’s the way it goes and if they trust you to have their child’s best interests at heart, they will jump on board. Good luck!