Developing positive relationships with parents

Schools have many ways of communicating with parents thanks to social media and applications designed to engage parents with their child’s learning, think Facebook, Class Dojo, See Saw and Edmodo. These applications do a great job of keeping parents informed about how their child is going with learning and providing an insight into their child’s classroom.

Communicating positive behaviours

For the most part teachers and schools communicate with individual families for two reasons:

  1. Unacceptable behaviour
  2. Sharing information about learning (positive and negative).

What is communicated less (for some students never) is when students demonstrate positive behaviours. Things like showing initiative, communicating well, being a good friend, helping others and demonstrating leadership etc. While parents enjoy and appreciate being able to see and hear what their child is learning they appreciate even more feedback about their child’s positive behaviours (being a good ‘human being’).

Schools and teachers are required to report about learning and we have to communicate when poor behaviour reaches a certain level. What we don’t have to report to parents is when their child behaves in a positive way or does something out of the ordinary to help others. Yet it is often this feedback that makes a parent most proud and can help mend or build relationships between the school and families whose only connection with the school may be because their child is always in trouble.

Below is a real example of a message home and the resulting message back to the teacher from the parent. The positive conversations generated by this message at home and the resulting perception of the school/teacher noticing their child in a positive light can only result in a strengthened relationship between the school and family.

 

It is not possible to continually communicate with parents but when we have the chance we should try to take it. Especially with those students who often don’t display the best behaviour. Try to catch them doing something good and let their parents know it could help you and the school in the long run.

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