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Parent Communication Tips for Student Success

Posted by Indiana Retired Teachers Association on Sep 26, 2016 9:00:00 AM

mother-student.jpgCommunication is key, as they say. Effective communication is an important part of the parent teacher relationship. Parents need to know important information about the school, but they also want to know what their child is doing in the classroom. Providing this information can help create effective parent teacher partnerships which will lead to student success. 

Here are some tips for effective communication between teachers and parents. 

1. Set High Expectations

Research has shown that expectations are a predictor of student achievement. Set high expectations that are clear and consistent. If parents know what you expect, they can reinforce it at home. Additionally, setting high expectations from the start can make it easier to objectively communicate with parents when a problem arises. 

The best way to avoid misunderstandings is to be clear from the beginning. Keeping parents informed will help them feel like part of a team which can help them be more supportive and understanding. As a bonus, parents will be less likely to jump to negative conclusions if there is a problem.

2. Communicate Often and Use Methods that Work

Some parents like paper notes and some prefer email or phone calls. Utilizing multiple communication methods will ensure that you are reaching more parents in the ways that work best for them.  

Provide weekly updates on what is going on in the classroom. Let the parents know what you are learning this week, and suggest things they might talk to their child about: "Ask them about their persuasive writing piece they've been working on this week." Or "As you're reading this week, ask your child to make predictions about the story. This helps with comprehension."

Make a phone call home to celebrate successes or new skill mastery. All students have good qualities, so be sure to always start with positive praise before moving on to the concerns. If they share a concern, be prepared with suggestions to help or resources outside of the school.

3. Be Willing to Listen and Let Parents Share

Fredrick Nael said, "It takes both sides to build a bridge." You can build a bridge of communication in the following ways:
  • Listen to parents. They know a lot about their child.
  • Invite parent "experts" to share in the classroom. The parents in your class have a wealth of skills that can help students make real-world connections to your curriculum..
  • Accept help from parents. An extra set of hands is always helpful. Don't forget to thank them for their time! Parents like to hear the positive praise just as much as the students do.

Building a positive rapport with parents is essential for student success. Use these effective communication tips to positive relationships with the parents of your students. 

The Educator's Guide to Retiring with Purpose

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