Positive relationships with parents are one of the most important value systems that teachers have to maintain as a part of their profession. There could definitely be difficult situations while dealing with children, that would need the support and indulgence of the parents.
The most effective door of opportunity for getting to know your students and families would be at the beginning of the school year. However, you must aim to maintain relationship with the parents throughout the year, in the best interests of the students. There should be a family-oriented and community engagement plan worked out for the entire year to achieve the partnership.
Working toward a healthy home-school partnership could be challenging, but you should never behave as if you've reached the peak.
From the experiences of teachers in common, there are some tips to effectively reach out to parents as you further stay on.
Communication with no complication-
As much as possible, it is always recommended to avoid any inconvenience with parents or have conflicts (fights) with them, while talking about their child. Take the call responsibly and communicate politely with them without any hassles. Make a note of the conversations that you have with the parent, for any future references. Meeting parents face-to-face, along with a senior faculty member or an administrator, would be advisable more than having phone calls.
Weekend or late evening plan-
There is nothing like meeting the parents for a face-to-face discussion and to spend time with them to learn more about the child. For working class parents, it would be much convenient to meet them during the weekends or during the last hours of the day, when they are done with their office duty. Fix up a workable time beneficial for both of you. It would be better to plan for a meeting keeping their other commitments in mind accordingly.
Keeping in touch with the parents through online communication would allow them to be aware of student-classroom activities and commitment levels. Homework or assignments can be posted online, which has to be accessible to students as well as parents. This online process helps students understand what they are learning, so that the parents would have an idea about their child's activities.
Keeping them in the loop-
If there are any meetings or events at school where the parents' presence would be needed, you must notify/inform the parents about it in advance. Most of the parents would love to help out, but teachers should check and follow up well in advance. Having parents volunteer in the classroom along with the kids facilitates teachers and parents in nurturing a healthy partnership which in turn enhances the capacity of the children towards curriculum and their specific needs towards education.
At the end of the day, as teachers, you need to believe that parents are doing their best to support the needs of their children.
One way to diligently work around this responsibility is to teach as if the parents of the student were in the back of the class. Another way is to show genuine concern considering the students to be your own children. Building an open partnership between home and school is your imperative task while fulfilling your other job commitments as a teacher.
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