Parents and Teachers: Partners in Education
Want to improve student outcomes? Foster positive communication between school and home. Studies show students do better when parents or guardians are involved in learning. For teachers, here are some ideas to build effective school-family partnerships:
- Build trust.Parents need to know they can trust you to have their children's best interests at heart. Personal respect is part of this process; behave respectfully, and expect respect in return.
- Listen first.Like everyone else, parents want to be heard, not simply told. Show you're a cut above by really listening to parents and honestly discussing their concerns.
- Keep focused.Before getting in touch, be clear about your subject. Discipline issues? Ways to help kids learn at home? Classroom goals? Target your communication.
- Include the positive.Parents want you to share their kids' victories and achievements; doing so helps keep communication flowing.
- Change channels.Not everyone has email. Phone calls, notes from home, parent-teacher meetings, open houses, newsletters, classroom events, and home visits are all ways to connect.
- Be proactive. Contact parents as soon as something arises. Follow up, and enlist parents in crafting solutions where warranted.