Strengthening Parent-Teacher Communication: Tips for Teachers
As a classroom educator, you must communicate with your students’ parents about any problems or struggles at school. While talking to parents can be an excellent opportunity to get to know your students better and make the best educational plans, communicating with parents can feel intimidating, especially if what you need to communicate isn’t the best news. That’s why we’ve put together some helpful tips to help you confidently communicate with your students’ families.
Why Strengthen Parent-Teacher Communication?
Students and teachers benefit when parents are involved in their child’s education. By building relationships with parents, you’ll be better able to:
- Raise problems or concerns
- Offer guidance or suggestions
- Teach your students more effectively
Working with each student’s parents, you’ll have the information you need to understand individual learning or social needs, motivate your students, and be a confident classroom leader.
How Can I Strengthen My Parent Communication?
Use Apps, Email, and Parent Portals.
Teachers have more ways to communicate with parents than ever before. The days of a phone call or a note home being the only ways to communicate are long gone. Instead, you can instantly send parents messages using portals many school districts provide, email, and apps such as TalkingPoints or ClassTag. Many apps even support translation to other languages to stay connected with multilingual families.
Take advantage of all these tools to communicate your students’ progress. The more often you update them, the more often the parents are likely to check in on their students.
Bring Issues to Parents Right Away.
Teachers always hope they can address concerning or undesirable behaviors in the classroom. However, if you see a student’s behavior escalate or observe emotional changes such as withdrawal or aggression, you should communicate with the parent immediately. While we hope a behavior hurdle will work itself out, outward behaviors may cover underlying social, learning, or emotional needs that must be addressed. You can send a simple message to the parents, such as, “I noticed that Jane was crying when she got off the bus the past few mornings. Has she had any problems on the bus that you are aware of?”
By asking parents if they know of any problems with their child, you invite them into a safe and caring conversation that works because:
- The parents are informed immediately that there is a problem.
- Your approach positions parents as the leading authority over their child and empowers them to seek solutions with you.
- You’re communicating in a non-confrontational way that doesn’t place blame on either the child or the parent so that no one will feel defensive.
Don’t Forget to Discuss the Good.
Remember to communicate the good to keep your parent relationships strong and cordial! For example, send parents quick messages when their child gives great classwork effort or does something helpful for a classmate. Your student will probably hear about the good-news note you sent, which may reinforce them to continue positive behaviors and build trust with you.
Encourage Parents to Volunteer.
It can be hard to have a good relationship with parents if you hardly ever see them—or worse, if you only see them when their child is in trouble. Foster goodwill and a sense of community by asking them to volunteer. Not every parent is available during school hours, but many parents can participate in a school activity at least a few times during the year.
They don’t just have to be classroom volunteers, either. They can volunteer for:
- Field trips
- Lunch duty
- Field days
- After-school programs
- Club advisors
It’s All About Teamwork.
At Adaptively, we understand that teamwork among all involved in a child’s education is essential to help them learn and unlock a bright future. Our all-inclusive supplemental-education platform is designed to support educators by addressing gaps and accelerating student learning. Schedule a demo today to learn more about how you can bring our leading-edge technology to your school.