Building Positive Communication with Parents.
In this video by TED (at the bottom of this article), Megan Olivia Hall talks about the benefits to the students of building positive communication with parents. She uses her own experiences as a teacher to demonstrate the power of opening a two-way communication with parents, one where the result helps the child succeed and bridge gaps in their learning and gaps in other areas where they may be struggling. I found it very powerful and I think you will too.
Do Good Teachers Have to be Parents?
No, good teachers don’t have to be parents. We do however share the same goals for the students; for them to be happy and to be successful. In all aspects of life, teamwork is better than working alone so it should be obvious that teachers and parents working as a team will help us achieve these goals right?
I know what you are thinking because it is the same thing that I always think…I don’t have time! Wrong!
Here’s the kicker:
Parent Teachers Communication Ideas.
Investing 5 minutes once a day is all it takes. Making this tiny investment in building communication with parents can result in a positive relationship that can last years. Parents shouldn’t only hear from teachers when there is a problem (as a parent myself I panic when I see the school number on my phone screen or email inbox!). We should communicate with parents when something good has happened.
Communication with parents early in a child’s school career sets up the foundation for a beneficial and strong relationship that can last many years.
That’s not all:
Parent Teacher Conference (Parents Evening).
I’m going to say something controversial. I like parents evening (US readers; this is what we call a parent-teacher conference). There I said it.
I know most teachers can’t bear the thought of spending hours repeating the same stuff and feeling your tongue swell in your mouth from the sheer volume of talking but (and it is a big BUT), what if we changed our mindset. What if we started to think of them as a perfect opportunity to further the communication with parents that we have been building with the emails and phone calls?
In the past, I have had much better conversations with parents if I have spoken to them in a positive way on previous occasions. Parents are much less guarded and much more open to suggestions on how their child can improve their progress. In short, it benefits the students more. Isn’t that what we are all trying to do?
As Megan says in the video, combining parental love and the professional expertise of a devoted teacher will give the child a much greater chance of bridging any gaps they have to negotiate in life.
Do you have any tactics you use that would benefit other teachers? If so please comment below so we can all become better teachers.
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Author: Paul Stevens-Fulbrook
Paul Stevens-Fulbrook (TeacherOfSci) is a Science teacher and Education blogger based in Brighton, England. He started blogging to help support teachers with the everyday struggles that they all face (including himself).