Parent-Teacher Communication Weekly

Five Keys to Successful Parent-Teacher Communication

1. Begin the year by explaining how and when you’ll keep in touch with them.

2. Never feel pressured to make an important decision, evaluation, or assessment during a parent conference or conversation.

3. Let parents know they can trust you.

4. Assure parents that you will inform them immediately about any concerns you might have with regard to their child.

5. When presenting a concern to parents, ALWAYS be ready to explain what strategies you’ve already used to address the issue and what new strategies you are considering

Tips to Strengthen Parent Teacher Communication

One of my favorite movies is Finding Nemo. I am a big fan of Bruce the shark. He invites both Dori and Marlin (two little fish) to a meeting with his other shark friends, Anchor and Chum. The three sharks are meeting to encourage one another to stop eating fish. I especially love the part when they recite their membership pledge, “If I am to change this image, I must first change myself. Fish are friends, not food.”
The relationship between the three sharks and two fish begins as predator and prey but ends in a lasting caring friendship. Sometimes relationships between parents and teachers can be like this. We can view each other as either the shark or the small fish. If we are to change this image, we need to change our own viewpoint, and realize we are all in the same big ocean. We must remember that parents are our friends, not foes.

A strong and positive relationship between parents and teachers serves the best interest of the student. Communication throughout the year is essential to support student success and well being. It allows parents and teachers to work together to support student learning and success. Parents give teachers insights to student strengths and weaknesses which can be used as a starting place when the teacher observes and forms relationships with the student. Children whose parents actively participate in their education tend to do better in school and students tend to have a better attitude toward school.

In our busy day of juggling papers, lesson planning and managing sometimes more than a hundred students, we can easily forget the group that could lend significant support in our charge as teachers -- parents and families. Consider these tips for improving connections with this valuable group:

1. Smile When You See Parents

2. Learn Their Names

3. Declare Your Intention

4. Communicate Often and in Various Forms

5. Make a Positive Phone Call Home

6. Lead with the Good News

7. Find a Translator

8. Your Language is Powerful

9. Ask Questions about the Child

10. Listen to Parents

11. Smile at the Child

12. Invite Parents to Share

13. Let Parents Know How They Can Help

14. Be Very Specific

15. Be a Broker of Resources

16. Explain Your Instructional Decisions

17. Invite Parents to Participate in Making Some Decisions

18. Thank Parents

19. Share Every Success

20. Invite Parents to Celebrate and Break Bread Together

7 Effective Parent Teacher Communication Tips

Many schools today have set clear goals for increasing "family engagement," and are rolling out systems and programs to reach parents. More than information about the school, parents want to know what their kids are doing in the classroom. Providing parents with this information can create strong and effective partners for teachers.

Here are 7 tips to create a robust parent-teacher communication plan that leverages the power of your students’ families.

1. Communicate High Expectations

2. Communicate Early & Often

3. Communicate about the Entire Classroom, as well as Individual Students

4. Be Aware of Schoolwide Communications

5. Choose Communication Tools that Work for Parents

6. Measure Your Success

7. Set Your Objectives