Guest blog post by Nicole Lewis, content writer at EssayVikings
Clear communication between parents and teachers is important for improving student performance, getting quality help from parents with homework, and avoiding misunderstandings between teachers and parents. Effective parent-teacher communication teaches parents how to best support their children in their academic programs. Frequent communication with parents gives teachers insight into their students’ life outside the classroom. Teachers get to learn the kids’ strengths and abilities, which contributes tremendously to learning outcomes.
Here are seven tips educators and parents can use to improve parent-teacher communication.
Tip #1: Establish Communications Early
Both parents and teachers must strive to establish strong communications from the beginning. Communicating with parents from the beginning goes a long way in easing their anxieties. Regular communication also helps parents validate their decision to enroll children at the school. One way of establishing communication early on would be through monthly newsletters from the school principal. Newsletters create a personal connection between the school and families of children enrolled in the school.
Tip #2: Avoid “Spam” Communication
While e-mail newsletters, texts, and other forms of communications are encouraged, as a teacher, you want to avoid overloading parents with school communications. Sending three emails followed by several text messages dilutes the value of teacher-parent communication. Constantly sending messages to parents might seem warranted, but it soon becomes overkill. Parents are more likely to ignore some of the communications, filing them in the trash folder, when you bombard them with messages throughout the day. Make your messages timely. Send messages in a timely manner, use upbeat graphics, and include a personal note highlighting items of importance such as lessons and important school dates.
Tip #3: Teach Children Boundaries
While the regular exchange of messages between instructors and families is an important aspect of developing effective teacher-parent communication, there’s a caveat, especially when children are old enough to respond to a teacher’s email. In fact, most schools have dedicated apps students can use to e-mail their teachers. However, as a parent, you want to make sure that your child understands and respects the boundaries and expectations bundled up with electronic forms of communications. For instance, parents should see to it that their children independently complete their assignments rather than constantly emailing the teacher for help. Teaching children boundaries goes a long way in ensuring cordial and effective relationships between parents and teachers.
Tip #4: Use Familiar Language
Both parents and tutors, while taking care while writing informally, should use a familiar language. Parents might not be familiar with educational jargon while educators might not be familiar with the language parents use routinely. For effective communication between parents and tutors, it is imperative to use language that is familiar to the other party. Your written message should be simple, easy to understand, and familiar to just about anyone. Also, both teachers and parents must be sensitive to cultural differences, and where possible, messages should be translated to the first language of the intended party.
Tip #5: Make Your Communications Personal
Another great way to ensure successful parent-teacher communication is personalizing messages. Teachers can, for instance, meet parents personally as they drop off or pick up their students. Such interactions, while informal, create a comfortable environment for educators and parents that can be used as a platform for further communication. In newsletters, tutors can personalize greetings to increase the parent’s comfort level to increase the likelihood of parents paying attention to the contents of the newsletter.
Tip #6: Let Parents Know How They Can Help
Letting parents know how they can help out in the learning of their children goes a long way in the cultivation of effective parent-teacher communication. As a teacher, having parents know they play a crucial part in your child’s learning ensures continued and active participation of the parents. Without parent participation, it is easy for a student to miss out on custom assignment help for instance.
Tip #7: Invite Parents to Share
Parents know a lot about their children. Inviting them to share allows you as a teacher to learn more about the children you teach. Parents can help tutors understand cultural traditions, skills of their children, their interests, passion, and knowledge. Armed with such knowledge, you are better placed to provide instructions that are beneficial to each of your students and their learning styles. Moreover, you get parental insight on the contents of the curriculum, which can greatly improve learning outcomes in your classroom.
These tips should help teachers and parents alike foster effective communication. Moreover, these tips ensure the best learning outcomes in just about any classroom setting by fostering cooperation and understanding between parents, children, and educators.