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. There are many ways to communicate these days. 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. 6–8, Make it a point to communicate frequently and positively so that you have already developed a relationship before you hit bumps in the road. Foster a sense of trust. Offer the option of having meetings over the phone or via video conferencing instead of in person. Kickboard offers a unique way for teachers to communicate student progress with parents. That is counterproductive and will … Parents can be your best friends, and they can be your worst enemy. View not found. The connection between a parent and a teacher can help a student’s welfare in many ways. When contacting a student’s parent or guardian, start out by saying something positive about him or her. 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. One size does not fit all when it comes to parent-teacher communication, in elementary school and otherwise. Offer the option of having meetings over the phone or via video conferencing instead of in person. For instance, student absences plummeted by 20% if teachers communicate with parents via home visits, according to an analysis from Waterford.org. It needs to include the date, parent/student name, and a brief summary. While some parents may have clear ideas on when and how they prefer to communicate with teachers, there may be a trial-and-error period during which the frequency and the most effective platform are established. When it’s time for parent-teacher conferences, offer early morning or evening meeting times if your schedule permits. If a parent has a similar interest, then milk that for all its worth. The worst thing you can do in this case is to be defensive. 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. This is a process that often spans the course of the year. ThoughtCo uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. Instead of being defensive listen to everything they have to say before you react. If they have a valid concern, assure them that you will take care of it. If you try hard enough, you can find some kind of common ground with just about anyone. 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”. He previously served as a school principal and middle school science teacher. Opportunities like this present themselves from time to time. However, you have a job to do and avoiding a parent is ultimately not what is best for that child. No matter how strong of a teacher you are, you will not always make everyone happy. Be careful not to fall into a pattern of just sending information out. Parent-Teacher Conferences/Zoom Meetings. 4. If a parent hears it from you, there is a lesser chance of something getting misinterpreted in the process. If you made a mistake, admit it, apologize for it, and tell them how you plan to remedy it. In this day and age, the preferable form of communication between teachers and parents is … You may never need it, but if you do, it will be well worth the time. Derrick Meador, M.Ed., is the superintendent for Jennings Public Schools in Oklahoma. Listening to them is just as powerful as explaining your side. Or it might be best to call parents during the day. Demand respect from your students and push them to succeed, but be flexible, understanding, and caring in the process. Proving this to some parents can be challenging, but it isn’t impossible. Possible solutions: Be flexible about how and when you communicate with families. Parents who care about education will trust you if they see these things. Don’t be afraid to go the extra mile to help a student. Finally, allow them to see you’re a terrific teacher with their child’s best interest in mind. A good relationship between parents and a teacher is invaluable towards maximizing the time that the teacher has with that student. The importance of documenting cannot be underscored. Pick three to four students per week and contact their parents with something positive. Teachers assign behaviors to students that either earn or take away dollars. 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. One of the most beneficial aspects of teaching is building positive relationships with parents. PreK–K, If a parent can relate to you, then the communication and trust between you will likely be solid. When you do have to contact a parent for something negative like a discipline issue, try to end the conversation on a positive note. First of all, parents need to ensure that you have their child’s best interest at heart. If you keep these communication ground rules in mind, parents will thank you, and your life as a classroom teacher will be much easier! It doesn’t have to be anything in depth. Effective communication between parents and teachers starts with positivity. There will be personality conflicts, and sometimes you just don’t have any similar interest. Include school policy updates, class project descriptions, profiles of teachers and students, important dates, upcoming events, and anything else you might find important. An important thing to note is that most parents get sick of only hearing unpleasant news about their child. Documenting is invaluable. The end result? In the digital version, invite them to respond via email or link to the contact … Possible solutions: Be flexible about how and when you communicate with families. Use multiple types of communication—social media, email, and the tried-and-true hard … Barbara Mariconda. There may be times that a parent has a question or concern about something. The basis of effective communication with parents also starts with trust. 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.