How to Encourage Positive Parent Teacher Relationships

Author: Bethany Spencer

Posted: 04 May 2017

Estimated time to read: 1 mins

Building relationships with your students’‭ ‬parents lays the foundation for a successful home-school partnership‭. ‬By interacting with parents and providing feedback on their child’s learning and behaviour‭, ‬you have a positive impact on their involvement in their child’s learning at home‭. ‬

Additionally‭, ‬when a parent is actively involved in their child’s school life‭, ‬students’‭ ‬motivation towards school increases and having frequent interaction with a parent helps you as a teacher learn more about your‭ ‬students and their home life‭. ‬

Introduce yourself

This may seem somewhat obvious‭, ‬but when you start teaching a new class make sure that you introduce yourself to their parents via email‭, ‬letter home or phone call‭. ‬In order to build a relationship with your parents they need to know who you are‭, ‬and feel‭ ‬as though they can approach you‭.‬

Make yourself available‭ ‬

When introducing yourself to parents‭, ‬communicate to them that you’re willing to speak with them about any concerns or questions they have in relation to their child’s learning or behaviour in class‭. ‬Simply providing them with office hours‭, ‬a phone number or email means you’re approachable and opens up a line of communication between you and them‭.‬

Provide regular updates

The key to building a positive relationship with parents is through keeping in frequent contact‭. ‬There are a number of ways in which you can do this‭, ‬and it can allow for a level of creativity‭. ‬For example you can send out a classroom newsletter which students can contribute to‭, ‬or even set-up a classroom blog which students can upload their work to and include pictures from in-class activities and school trips‭, ‬so parents can see what their child gets up to‭. ‬

Communicate all news‭ - ‬good and bad

A phone call home from a teacher usually has negative connotations for both students and parents‭. ‬However‭, ‬a call home is quick‭ ‬and easy and doesn’t need to be solely for passing on news of misbehaviour‭. ‬Instead they should be used to also let parents know when their child has achieved something great or behaved well‭. ‬It must also be remembered‭, ‬that when you do need to contact home to inform parents‭ ‬of bad news‭, ‬to communicate it in a way that doesn’t upset them‭. ‬Break the news first by informing the parents how well their child usually performs in class and try to work with‭ ‬them to find out a way to overcome the issue at hand‭. ‬Remember‭, ‬you don’t always know what’s going on at home and how this may be impacting on the student‭. ‬

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