Reinforcement within the homes of our students is a huge win for their overall education. Gaining support and assistance from parents brings education full circle. It enriches the lessons and gives parents the opportunity to use real life situations as examples. The only question is, how do we get parents to join us. They are busy people, if they had the time, we wouldn’t be the ones teaching them. Check out some of the ways we can get parents to join us in taking their children’s education to the next level.
Set the tone
You want to hit the ground running. At back to school night, be clear about your objectives. Also, emphasize how important their involvement is to their child’s success. Laying it all out on the table early (and to a captive audience) makes it easier than trying to get the same emphasis across through emails or take home printout. Face to face conversations are going to leave the biggest impression. Use the time you have them in front of you get them on board.
Work together on child’s goals
Setting goals together should be done at the first parent-teacher conference. This way, it gives you enough time to know their child. It also allows enough time for you to discuss meaningful goals with authority. By the end of the conference, establish a set of goals you both can commit to working on together.
Open the lines of communication
Check in with parents regularly. Use whatever line of communication works best for them. Having open communication opens the door for goal check-ins. Parent-teacher conferences will always be the touchpoint for a larger discussion about goals and progress, but checking in every now and again does two things. One, it reaffirms you’re holding up your end of the bargain. Secondly, it may have been the reminder they needed to kick it into high gear.
Make sure their access to student information is simple
Always make sure parents have some kind of access to student information. If your school uses a portal system, make sure it’s working for them and that they are comfortable using it. If they aren’t, make arrangements for paper copies to go home or send it over in an email. It doesn’t matter how they get the information, it’s just important that they get it.
The partnerships between teachers and parents is just one way we can make our student’s education even better, but it’s a pretty big one. Sometimes a parent can get through to a disruptive child more than you ever could. All it will take is a quick note at the end of an email or a comment in the student portal. A parent’s authority is a powerful tool, use it to your advantage.