When I was a teacher, I would often struggle with how to keep parents involved and informed in their child’s education. I would call parents during work hours and often leave messages only to receive a phone call during my off hours. I knew there had to be a better way to have effective yet efficient means to communicate with parents.
Now with many schools going hybrid, communication is at its upmost importance. Parents want to be involved, but often times do not know how or where they can help.
Here are 3 ways to provide effective communication with parents to achieve success:
1. Be proactive, not reactive.
If parents know that an assignment is due or a test is coming up, they will be more willing to assist in making sure their child can succeed. Study guides and rubrics are excellent ways to make sure the students and parents know what is expected. Share these resources with the parents as soon as possible. Make sure they are directly correlated to the assignment, project, or assessment so the parents and students can work together for success. Email the parents the rubric and study guide or upload it to your class website. Send a reminder to parents about the upcoming assignment so they can be as prepared as possible.
2. Take advantage of text messages.
Parents utilize text messages as much, if not more, than students. A quick text message about their child from a parent is all that is often needed so that parents can stay informed. This does not have to be something that is long, but a simple text reminder usually does the trick. There are apps like Remind that allows teachers to send a text to a class or individual while hiding the cell number of the teacher. The teacher can give a short explanation and the parent can be informed about any assignment or activity of the student.
3. Don’t forget to be positive.
I know that many parents dread getting a phone call about a negative experience that happened during class or on an assignment. Sometimes the only time a parent hears from the teacher is when the news is not positive. Be sure to inform parents about anything positive that their child did in that class. This way parents will look forward to any communication from the teacher and will more willing to assist in case a situation arises. The parent will be more likely to make sure that their child maintains success for the teacher because this can form a bond between the parent and teacher. The student will see that their parent, the teacher, and themselves are all on the same team together with the common goal of student success.
Communication is extremely important with so many things changing in today’s school, especially with the uncertain future. Teachers can help alleviate the anxiety of parents by simply providing an open means of communication to ensure success for all students. Remember that teachers, parents, and students are all on the same team!