Successful teaching begins at home. Parents are a child’s first teachers, they know their children better than anyone else does, and they are every teacher’s strongest ally in educating their children. Parents want to be included in their child’s education, but are often unsure of what they should to do best help their children succeed. Positive parent-teacher communication is key to their success (and yours).Positive parent-teacher communication is key to their success (and yours.) Click To Tweet
Having a positive parent-teacher relationship is all about effective communication. Effective communication between parents and teachers is regular, practical, and positive. Parents should know when they should expect notices to come home from school and how to reach you if they need to. All communication you send home should be useful and positive. Make sure parents know you like their children and are excited about their learning, and they will want to help.
Parent-Teacher Communication Tips for Success:
One of my favorite ways to have positive parent-teacher communication is through a weekly newsletter. In my newsletters I include the week’s spelling words, dates of upcoming events, classroom supply/help requests, and a brief synopsis of what we are learning about in each subject. I will also highlight the student of the week and student of the month. Most importantly I include the way I would like parents to contact me and the hours which I am willing to answer phone calls.
Another way I increase parent engagement in my classroom is through a classroom blog. Technology is everywhere and parents often can view your class blog right on their phones. It is a fabulous method for informing parents about ongoing project, and homework assignments. The feature of my class blog I get the most positive feedback from parents on is the spelling list section. I just copy and paste the week’s list into a blog post and parents can help their kids study when they are on the go. You can read about how I setup my classroom blog here. Many parents are tech-savvy and enjoy getting their information on their own time through the internet. If a blog is not for you, you could also consider setting up a private Facebook group. I do recommend blocking parents from leaving direct comments on the page. Filtering parent comments works out better for everyone.
Focus on the Positive!
It is easy to remember to call home when a child is misbehaving and needs to speak with a parent, but even more powerful sometimes is the positive call home. Parents love to celebrate their children’s success and support their continued success in your classroom. Let them know when their child is doing something great and it is a certainty that you will see more of those positive behaviors in your classroom daily!
Another fabulous way to increase parent engagement in a child’s education is to send some good old-fashioned snail-mail. Children and parents alike love to receive a letter in the mail that is written by the classroom teacher on any successes the child has had in the classroom. Too often we forget to let parents know when children are doing well and only remember to communicate what they have done poorly. A quick note of praise on the back of a postcard can go a long way to making parents and students feel valued and included in your classroom.
How ever you choose to do it, time spent on improving parent-teacher communication is never wasted. Increasing positive parent communication empowers you both to make a difference in how their students succeed in your classroom.
Looking for some more tips? Check out this post from my friend Lisa at All Things Special Ed!
And this post from my friend Pat at Growing Grade by Grade: