What does parent-teacher communication have in common with synchronized swimming? They both require coordination! This concept is important from classroom to home. However, it is often ignored until needed.
Part of creating a positive learning space is congruent parent-teacher communication. Positive communication with parents sets the tone for an easier school year.
Whether it’s a quick note to celebrate their child’s progress or an in-depth newsletter to notify them of school current events, your communication strategies will produce many benefits. It can even boost your students’ success rate by welcoming parent involvement.
So, how do you streamline efforts to stay in touch with parents? We all want to see students succeed. Establishing a system that galvanizes effective parent-teacher communication will do just that.
What Does Effective Parent-Teacher Communication Mean?
An informed parent helps you reach your end goal: a supportive parent. Effective parent-teacher communication means you’ve surveyed your parent roster. Now, find out how to convert them into participatory parents. Using the wrong streams of communication with parents will decrease family involvement.
The risk of losing touch with parents equates to less support for students at home. In an initial introduction of yourself, request feedback on what works for them. Meeting a parent halfway on their terms will prompt them to support you.
Think of your communication system as team building. Confirming the efficacy of a healthier communication system yields a healthy classroom ecosystem.
Why Is It Important For Teachers To Communicate With Parents?
Don’t underestimate the benefit of building relationships with parents. The effort is well worth it in the long run. You may even be surprised by a lifelong friendship.
Getting parents informed is the basic step. Getting them involved is more difficult, but it will greatly serve you and your students.
What’s best for the child will be established through this communication channel. Implementing modes of assistance will produce academic success for the child. This is how both sides can begin to work together.
Remember, both parties are dependent on each other. Both share a high level of influence over the child.
Each parent will help dissolve assumptions and focus on the child’s success. And alignment on meeting expectations builds a foundation of trustworthiness.
Strategies for Effective Communication with Parents in Schools
Parent-teacher communication is crucial to a child’s social, emotional, and cognitive development. Constant contact and feedback from both ends will help the child navigate their learning journey.
Essentially, the co-construction of learning is the basis of the communication channel. Look at it this way: the teacher is the expert on teaching and the parent is the expert on the child. The teacher can educate the child through a tailored approach, but the parent can provide reinforcement during the homework sessions.
We suggest you lay out some ground rules for parents. Begin the year by explaining how you'll keep in touch with them. Opening up the floor for discussion is helpful. The parents will know you value their questions and concerns.
Have specific hours for parent questions, whether this option is virtual or face-to-face. Making this acknowledgment, you protect your boundaries and let them know when you can be a resource for them.
Never feel pressured to act on the spot during a parent conference. Give yourself some time to think. This allows time for you to consider the issue, develop multiple solutions, and consult your colleagues, if necessary. Moving forward, this helps reinforce the trust the parent has in you.
Build trust with parents. Reassure parents that they will be notified immediately when any sign of concern arises. You do not want to send them into a panic halfway through the semester.
From grades to behavior, parents can help you with the student. When it comes to behavior, they can let you in on their parenting techniques. When it comes to grades, they can be more intentional when helping their child with a subject.
When the smallest sign of trouble starts to bubble up, tell the parent. Being the bearer of bad news at the last minute could shatter your trust factor.
When addressing student challenges, always be ready to present solutions. Speak about what you have attempted in conflict resolution tactics. Invite them to participate in steps toward correction. With their input, watch how you move forward together obtaining the desired results.
Based on the layout of your communication methods, parents can better accept change. This could be new class rules or new school or district-wide procedures.
Make sure your classroom environment addresses academic, social, and emotional issues. You need to make sure it converts to the home for effective classroom to home daily transitions. This will make for a fortified parent-teacher relationship that supports the students.
5 Examples of Effective Parent-Teacher Communication
You are going to want to contact parents as soon as the school year begins. Plan out your communication with parents early. Show that you’re empathetic towards their schedule.
Establish a rapport with parents by creating this communication stream and sticking to it. Getting up to your neck in thousands of assignments to grade can be overbearing enough. To reduce stress, follow these strategies for a polished teacher communication tool-kit:
Asking Parents What They Want To See
Give the parents a voice with a feedback opportunity built into your introduction. This could be a survey section in an email or introductory letter. Meet them halfway, showing you care just as much about their child’s education.
Consistent Communication Is Key
Once the preferred communication method is established, outline a schedule. Parents will likely prefer to know information on a weekly or monthly basis. Make sure you are responsive to questions or concerns.
Parents are looking to you to help them nurture their child’s success. Let them know you are there for them, and they can count on you. Remember, you are co-constructing the child’s habits in and out of the classroom.
Progress reports and a course syllabus will come in handy for parents. They will be aware of where their child needs extra help.
Also, if their child is showing strong interest in a subject, they can get them involved in extracurricular activities in that area. This is how you will collectively build up the student’s educational outcomes.
A celebratory tone like “praise reports” will also allow parents to formulate incentives for their child. Make one another’s life easier with the contents of the information. Setting these expectations will keep the parent engaged with their child’s education.
Other than emails or a newsletter, a classroom website or social media hub may be appreciated by parents as well. The use of technology is more and more universal because it is accessible from anywhere. By having these channels updated every school year, you can relieve some stress from yourself.
Not only is social media use growing in popularity, but it will also allow for a more supportive academic network. The triangle of communication will continue bridging the gap between school and home life.
Daily Classroom Activity
Parents will surely enjoy seeing their children grow in the classroom. Sending home notes of encouragement or positivity will boost the connection you are building.
A classic tool to boost parent participation will be through volunteer methods. Regularly include parents by having a classroom reader or a sponsor for a snack day.
Your idea of the transition from the classroom to home will manifest when the kids see a familiar face in the learning environment. This will further reinforce the strength of your triangular communication methods.
You can even send photos and videos of special classroom activities like experiments or craft time. Elements like these will be reflective once the school year has ended. These are ways you can go the extra mile to make your mark.
It’s About Students
Parent-teacher communication is a valuable tool to breed the best education for students. Creating a supportive learning environment means reaching out to parents and getting them involved.
Lack of communication will not grow a successful classroom. Do not leave this topic on the back burner of your to-do list. There are a plethora of tools you can use to strengthen your communication
Once your routine is in place, focus on a steady frequency of communication. Stimulating natural feedback will make your life easier.
These strategies will be able to translate year over year.
By opening up this line of communication, parents will thank you. So, get started on a good foot with your parents. If you follow these parent-teacher communication ground rules at the beginning of the year, your teacher life will glide forward smoothly.
These priceless moments will prove all hands on deck with student, teacher, and parent participation that will make for endless student advancement.