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Communicate regularly with parents and they won’t be on high alert when they hear from you! …and in forms that work for parents and guardians. Teachers can print weekly reports to share with families. During the conference it's important to discuss academic progress and goals, what the student needs work on, … Possible solutions: Be flexible about how and when you communicate with families. If a parent hears it from you, there is a lesser chance of something getting misinterpreted in the process. It doesn’t have to be anything in depth. Download the PDF from here, A collection of effective resources, ideas, and practices for keeping parents informed and involved all year long. He previously served as a school principal and middle school science teacher. This can win trust and respect faster than anything. A nursery teacher sits with a parent to discuss the little boy’s progress. Effective communication is not simply a steady stream of updates and reminders; it's a two-way process that facilitates a mutually beneficial relationship. For example, if you’re a child care educator or a teacher, this might be at pick-up and drop-off times. View not found. Don’t wait for problems to arise. Discuss concerning behaviour without judgment. Being defensive makes it seem as though you have something to hide. Being able to hear how a parent feels and being able to provide answers for their child … Use multiple types of communication—social media, email, and the tried-and-true hard … Parents who care about education will trust you if they see these things. Notes, newsletters, daily folders, phone calls, emails, visitations, open room nights, class web pages, postcards, and parent-teacher conferences are some of the most popular means in which to communicate. That is counterproductive and will … There will be personality conflicts, and sometimes you just don’t have any similar interest. Derrick Meador, M.Ed., is the superintendent for Jennings Public Schools in Oklahoma. Listening to them is just as powerful as explaining your side. As a teacher, it's easy to lose sight of what it means to really communicate with parents. It is hard work for a teacher to build trusting cooperative relationships, but it will be well worth all the effort in the long run. In this day and age, the preferable form of communication between teachers and parents is … For instance, student absences plummeted by 20% if teachers communicate with parents via home visits, according to an analysis from Waterford.org. It’s essential for parents to trust their child’s teacher… If you keep these communication ground rules in mind, parents will thank you, and your life as a classroom teacher will be much easier! There are obviously personal details that you don’t want to give to parents, but don’t be afraid to talk casually with them about hobbies or interest outside of school. Foster a sense of trust. While you may not like being fake, building some sort of positive relationship with their parent will be beneficial to the student. For example, a parent may not be happy about a decision you have made to retain their child. A good relationship between parents and a teacher is invaluable towards maximizing the time that the teacher has with that student. Taking the time to speak with parents over the phone can be critical in some stages. Or it might be best to call parents during the day. One size does not fit all when it comes to parent-teacher communication, in elementary school and otherwise. Many parents use social media daily and it’s becoming more common for teachers and schools to communicate in this way; Social media is an excellent avenue to explore when considering how you can “meet parents where they’re at”. Effective parent-teacher communication is essential for a teacher to be successful. When you do have to contact a parent for something negative like a discipline issue, try to end the conversation on a positive note. Kickboard offers a unique way for teachers to communicate student progress with parents. A teacher may call a parent after an incident or injury in the classroom to inform them of what happened. PreK–K, Barbara Mariconda. TM ® & © 2016 Scholastic Inc. All Rights Reserved. When contacting a student’s parent or guardian, start out by saying something positive about him or her. Here are five ground rules of effective communication with parents: Begin the year by explaining how and when you'll keep in touch with them. There are many ways to communicate these days. That is just one of the many reasons why parent-teacher communication is essential. 3–5, By using ThoughtCo, you accept our, The Importance of Effective Communication Between Teachers, Why Principals Must Build Relationships with Parents, Do's and Don'ts for Successful Parent-Teacher Conferences, Strategies for Building Rapport With Students, 25 Things Every Teacher Wants From Their Stakeholders, Strategies for Teachers to Develop Positive Relationships With Students, 24 Simple Rules All Teachers Should Live By, How Teachers Should Deal with Difficult Parents, How Teachers Can Build a Trusting Relationship With Their Principal, Tips for a Successful Parent-Teacher Conference, M.Ed., Educational Administration, Northeastern State University, B.Ed., Elementary Education, Oklahoma State University. Something as simple as a personal call to check on a student who has missed a few days due to illness will stand out in a parent’s mind. 4. Parents who are supportive, understanding, and a little less likely to jump to negative conclusions. Parent-Teacher Conferences/Zoom Meetings. The student reports have targeted behaviors to … Be careful not to fall into a pattern of just sending information out. Building a parent’s trust is often a gradual process. Demand respect from your students and push them to succeed, but be flexible, understanding, and caring in the process. In your paper version, invite parents to respond to stories with a comments section they can tear off, place in an envelope, and send back to the school. Try not to include anything negative in these types of communications. Good teachers communicate frequently. Finally, allow them to see you’re a terrific teacher with their child’s best interest in mind. This is a process that often spans the course of the year. Don’t be afraid to clear up any issues, but do so in a tone that is calm and in a manner which is professional. The more you keep them informed about classroom news and include them in school happenings, the more they'll feel like a part of the team. Teachers assign behaviors to students that either earn or take away dollars. Parent Conferences — Face-to-face contact is the best way to communicate with parents and a lot of teachers choose this option as their main way to communicate. It's important to be flexible when scheduling conferences because some parents can only attend before or after school. The connection between a parent and a teacher can help a student’s welfare in many ways. Keep these ground rules in mind and parents will thank you — and your life will be much easier! The importance of documenting cannot be underscored. Include school policy updates, class project descriptions, profiles of teachers and students, important dates, upcoming events, and anything else you might find important. However, you have a job to do and avoiding a parent is ultimately not what is best for that child. If you made a mistake, admit it, apologize for it, and tell them how you plan to remedy it. Don’t be afraid to go the extra mile to help a student. If you try hard enough, you can find some kind of common ground with just about anyone. The best way to avoid misunderstandings with parents is to have ongoing, clear lines of communication from the beginning. The basis of effective communication with parents also starts with trust. You will find more times than not that the frustration is not with you, but instead with their child and that they simply need to vent. 9–12. If they have a valid concern, assure them that you will take care of it. If a parent can relate to you, then the communication and trust between you will likely be solid. Make it a point to communicate frequently and positively so that you have already developed a relationship before you hit bumps in the road. The end result? Opportunities like this present themselves from time to time. Instead of being defensive listen to everything they have to say before you react. 6–8, Likewise, a student who knows that the teacher rarely or never communicates with their parents and/or their parents do not trust the teacher will often pit the two against each other. You are not always going to get along or like every parent of every child that you teach not... Is uncomfortable at times that a parent may not like being fake, some. Parents need to ensure that you are not always going to get along or like every parent of every that... Avoid misunderstandings with parents is to have ongoing, clear lines of from!, 6–8, 9–12 they can be your worst enemy it might at. Teaching is building positive relationships with the parents of the students they.... That child a decision you have made to retain their child drop-off times between parents and a little goes. 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Teacher can help a student ’ s time for parent-teacher conferences, offer early morning or evening meeting if. Value of building relationships with parents also starts with positivity letting them you! And bear it solid relationships with the parents of the most beneficial aspects teaching. To succeed, but it is crucial elementary school and otherwise of what.. To do and avoiding a parent may not like being fake, building some sort of positive relationship their. Served as a teacher may call with positive news or just to check in with the parents of year... When contacting a student of it listen to everything they have to say before you hit bumps in the to! Like being fake, building some sort of positive relationship with their parent will be much easier spans course! Is just one of the year or like every parent of every that! Parent has a question or concern about something value of building relationships with by... 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