One of the starkest realities that educators must face early on and throughout the entirety of their careers is that they simply can’t be the only resource in the lives of their students. Sure, your pupils are yours to instruct each day, and you can add homework and external assignments to further your curriculum, but it’s vital that you find a way to offer students support outside of the classroom as well. While it can seem like a great challenge, ensuring that you have open lines of communication with their parents can be a huge asset when paired with creative curriculum and appropriate classroom management strategies. If you’re hoping to enhance your parent teacher communication practices, take a look at these three tips:
Ensure Regular Communication Points
One of the most common mistakes made in parent-teacher communication is only reaching out to the parents or guardians of your pupils when there’s already an issue. While this is a natural response, it can leave the conversations between you and these individuals framed in an unnecessarily negative light. Digital Promise points out that establishing regular communication with parents can be hugely beneficial. Not only will it allow parents to expect hearing from you at certain points, but they’re likely to be more receptive in the event of a problem if you’ve spoken to them multiple times without any bad news. Establish communication early on, and try to contact the parents of your students at least once a month, if not more regularly.
Make Your Schedule Clear
As The Parent Academy has reported, the biggest obstacle in communicating with parents is working around all the different schedules in play. You can avoid this unnecessary issue by making your schedule clear to the parents of your students at the beginning of the year. If you have office hours or a few blocks of time set aside for parental communication each week, put them on your students syllabus. You may also want to email these to your classroom parents at the beginning of the year.
The fact of the matter is that no one wants their efforts to go unnoticed. Parents are far more likely to remain involved if you express gratitude for their work in ensuring that your students receive the attention they need both in and out of the classroom. While it may seem a bit obvious, a simple thank you email for parental involvement can go a long way!