From self-confidence and encouraging curiosity to healthy attitudes and life skills, the first teachers to appear in a child’s life are the parents. The educational journey begins almost immediately after a child is born, and learning remains constant from that point on.
Through love, motivation, and encouragement, parents help form the foundation for their child. Kids’ overall character, desire to learn, and interests are great factors in the success and sustainability of their learning.
That said, there comes a time in every child’s life when they must leave the nest to embark on a new experience – to begin school.
School is not only a place where the parent-created foundation and skills are enhanced by formal teaching, it’s a place where new relationships will be born. Two of the most obvious relationships are peer-to-peer and student-to-teacher. But, often times people forget that another pertinent relationship is the parent-teacher dynamic; there is no better combination when it comes to the success of a child’s educational experience.
Seamless teacher parent communication is extremely important because:
- As a parent, you’re aware of everything that goes on in the home. Whether it be how much time is spent studying for a particular subject or being aware of your child’s social interactions with siblings and peers outside of school, being in the know is key.
- As an educator, you have insights pertaining to a student’s academic achievements, the specific curriculum, academic strengths and weaknesses, and their social development… often via student portfolios where the aforementioned insights can be displayed in full
- School to home communication provides each party with unique and different perspective about a student’s overall strengths, abilities, and challenges
- Home school communication is likely to influence a child’s emotional, cognitive, and social development
Needless to say, open school to home communication is essential in forging an environment conducive to learning. Now let’s explore a few parent teacher communication strategies, designed to keep both parties primed about anything concerning the well-being of students.
Both inside and outside of the classroom, the parent teacher relationship is one of the most influential components of a student’s educational future, and it all starts with being engaged. Parents and teachers must remember the importance of two-way communication.
As an educator, one of the best ways to form a continuous communicative bond with parents is to invite them into the classroom. This provides a visual setting of the students’ learning environment, and affords the opportunity to discuss the day-to-day routines and activities students partake in.
Along the same lines, educators can host numerous interactive activities to enhance the school communication strategy. For instance, planning informative workshops are a great way to help parents learn techniques to support their students’ educational achievements inside and outside of the classroom.
Another example is hosting a “writing night.” Educators, especially those who teach English and/or reading, can present writing prompts and assignments to students and parents. The task is to allow the student to write the content with the parent’s help, then analyze and edit together. This presents the perfect opportunity to promote in-class assignments, as well as assist parents in encouraging their student to write.
Other strategies for improving home and school communication include:
- student-led parent-teacher conferences, which gives the child a chance to express to the educator and parents their thoughts about their educational journey.
- Utilizing social media and web-based technologies, like ClassDojo – a communication portal where students, educators, and parents can:
- Share reports, feedback, private messages, announcements… in real-time
- Track educational progress, assignments, and behavior
- Upload informative, assignment and classroom-related videos and images, and more!
- Creating “home journals” to communicate with parents, allowing for ongoing written dialogue between educators and parents.
- Going beyond the traditional and conduct home visits to chat with parents, sparking a deeper connection to the family unit, while increasing trust and cultural competence.
Although these are just a few home to school communication strategies, they can be extremely beneficial for the student, parents, and educator simultaneously.
Where students are concerned, their attitude towards learning, teachers, and the school itself is positively influenced by the parent-teacher partnership. Students will be more apt to strive for better grades and test scores, consider their own actions and developmental opportunities, diligently complete and share activity work on time, and take learning seriously.
Parents, on the other hand, have an improved perception of the school and their child’s overall educational journey, along with having an in-depth understanding of the educator’s job and the curriculum. Furthermore, parents become more active regarding policies and taking part in the decision-making processes that may impact their student’s education.
For educators, one of the main perks is actually learning more about their students’ home environment and their educational needs outside of the classroom. Moreover, educators form a deeper respect for the efforts of parents, as well as their abilities and time.
Effective communication strategies in schools, which include keeping parents and educators informed, is key to cultivating eager-to-learn students.