Is this the only time we communicate with parents?
How do we connect parents to our classrooms? It is often difficult to connect parents with their child’s classroom in a consistently meaningful way. At what level do we share with parents, is it superficial and only really scratching the surface or do we share in a more deep way that educates parents about our programs, our expectations and how they can help their child at home? Do we make ourselves accessible to parents? Can parents easily and regularly view their students work?
Creating positive links with parents is no doubt more work than not. However the potential benefits are high for the teacher, parent and the student.
Students whose parents are connected with school are more likely to get consistent messages from home and school. Parents are more likely to work and talk with their children about school if they know what is happening in the classroom and have suggestions from the teacher about how to help their child. Students are more likely to feel good about school (and their teacher) if their parents are receiving positive communication from their teachers which is in turn fed back to them via their parents. The Keys to Success postcards are a great (and probably underused) tool for this.
Parents who understand the way in which a teacher teaches and the methods they use and the beliefs they have will feel a lot more comfortable helping their own child knowing they are supporting the teacher. Parents who have a clearer picture of what is happening in the classroom are more likely to strike up a conversation about school with their child and their child’s teacher(s). Hopefully well connected parents are less likely to see the school and the teacher in an intimidating light.
Teachers can build up strong positive relationships with parents through sharing all the good work they do. Strong positive relationships are very beneficial when those times arise that are not so positive. Teachers can help to get parents on board with home work expectations, deadlines for assignments and methods of learning that will assist students like letter formation, tips when reading with a child etc….
Below are some links to ideas used by other teachers.