In order for a student to succeed, they need the full support of both their teacher(s) and parent(s). With this in mind, maintaining parent-teacher communication throughout the school year is the key and goes a long way in supporting your students. Research shows that students tend to do better in school when their parent or guardian is engaged in their child’s learning.
To help open the lines of communication, parents should realistically be involved in everything their child is doing in school. This should include everything, such as school events, classroom procedures, educational strategies, assignment dates, behavior, academic progress, and anything else school related. This level of involvement allows the parent or guardian to have a full understanding of what their child is going through and enables them to provide their child with encouraging support.
Technology is continuing to grow and is a great way to keep parents informed. It allows you to get information out quickly via emails or a class website. A class website will allow you to post assignments, project due dates, events, extended learning opportunities, and explain what educational strategies you are using within the classroom.
Email would be more of a personal form of online communication and would probably only be used in urgent situations such as behaviour issues or important updates.
Face-to-face contact is pivotal when it comes to clear communication. It’s the best way to communicate with parents, and a lot of teachers choose this option as their main way to talk to parents. Flexibility is of the utmost importance because some parents can only attend before or after school. During the meeting, it's important to discuss academic progress and goals, what the student needs work on, and any concerns the parent has with their child or the education that they are being provided with. Simply make the parents aware of anything of importance in relation to their child’s learning experience.
Mini report cards can be sent home weekly, monthly or a couple of times a year. This way of connecting gives parents tangible evidence of their child's academic progress. Consider providing contact details in this form of communication should the parent have any queries in relation to their child’s education.
A great way for parents to get involved in their child's education is to give them the opportunity to volunteer, becoming involved in school events. Many parents may think that they are too busy, so make it easy and invite them to get involved in a number of ways. At the beginning of the school year, invite parents to volunteer in the classroom. Again, flexibility is important, so invite them to volunteer whenever is easiest for them.
Research shows that good links between children’s school work and their parent’s involvement can improve their enjoyment and chances of doing well in life. The more a parent knows about what their child is learning, the more they can offer support.