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The importance of parent involvement in education has been studied extensively over the years, and findings show that by involving parents in a child’s school experience, children will have a more positive attitude about school, will make more effort to perform well, and will persist more with schoolwork (Jones & Jones, 2016). As such, parents play such a huge role in the success of students that their involvement in their children’s education is crucial. Hosseinpour, Yazdani, and Yarahadi (2015) further support this idea, stating that “the more they get involved in and the more positive attitude they have toward” their children’s education, “the more their children are successful” in school (p. 1376).
Moreover, teachers have discovered that it is important that they “work with families, not against families,” as working with families creates an essential partnership that helps mold that classroom (Waddell, 2013, p. 286). Keeping all of these findings in mind, there are a few strategies to help build up this important partnership as well as a few ideas for utilizing technology to increase interactions between home and school. These strategies will help establish positive teacher-parent relationships.
Strategies for Establishing a Positive Teacher-Parent Relationship
- Parent Evenings: One suggestion from Okeke (2014) is that parents and teachers get together on parent evenings so that parents may learn more about the school and teachers learn more about the home background. These parent evenings would be a time where parents and teachers may communicate and elicit support from one another toward the benefit of the child’s education.
- Parent Volunteers: Additionally, Jones and Jones (2016) suggest that parent volunteers may help with such things as tutoring, teaching special topics, preparing materials, chaperoning for field trips, and finding materials for student projects in order to build stronger teacher-parent relationships and thus increase the child’s positive attitude toward school. If these events are planned at a time that works for both parents and teachers, there is great potential for team-building toward the betterment of students.
- Parent-Teacher Games: Engaging in some friendly parent-teacher games may “help promote unity and the cooperation necessary for effective and friendly home-school” partnerships (Okeke, 2014, p. 6). If these events are planned at a time that works for both parents and teachers, there is great potential for team-building toward the betterment of students. While several other options exist for building parent-teacher relationships, these suggestions stood out as excellent opportunities for collaboration.
- Classroom Websites: One way parents and teachers may communicate is through e-mail, but a classroom website also helps parents connect with what is going on in the classroom (Jones & Jones, 2016). Although not all families have internet access at home, public libraries allow people to use the internet for free, and this is one way in which parents may access this valuable source of information, where teachers can post about homework, projects, special events, field trips, pictures, links to resources, and newsletters, among other things (Jones & Jones). By connecting online, parents may access the information at whatever time is convenient for them, and if teachers provide a link to an email address or a contact form, direct contact can be made immediately.
- Phone Calls: Communicating with parents via telephone is another great way to keep parents informed. It is time-consuming, but fostering a positive two-way communication will go a long way toward increasing student achievement. Just make sure to make positive phone calls before any conferences or disciplinary phone calls take place.
There is no doubt that positive communication between teachers and parents makes a huge difference when it comes to how students perform in school. Acknowledging that parents need to know how their children are progressing in school, it is extremely important that parents are informed frequently about what goes on in the classroom, especially as it pertains specifically to their children (Jones & Jones, 2016). Thus, creating opportunities such as those listed above for parents and teachers to interact in positive and product ways is essential for student success to occur.
- Hosseinpour, V., Yazdani, S., & Yarahmadi, M. (2015). The relationship between parents’ involvement, attitude, educational background and level of income and their children’s English achievement test scores. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 6(6), 1370-1378.
- Jones, V., & Jones, L. (2016). Comprehensive classroom management: Creating communities of support and solving problems (11th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
- Okeke, C. (2014). Effective home-school partnership: Some strategies to help strengthen parental involvement. South African Journal of Education, 34(3), 1-9.
- Waddell, J. H. (2013). Working with families in urban teacher education: A critical need for all students. Teacher Educator, 48(4), 276–295.