Parents Are Our Allies

Tonight's #edchat topic inspired me to write this post. Thanks to everyone who participated in this great conversation. I came away with so much.

I am in my 5th year of teaching and if I have learned anything, I have learned that parents are teachers' best allies. I firmly believe that teachers should develop and nurture the relationships they have with every student. I now see how developing and nurturing relationships with parents is just as important.

I teach middle school and all I hear is how my students go home and their parents ask, "What did you do in school?" and they reply with "Nothing." This is the message that goes home to parents... we do "nothing" in school. This message can cause tension between parents and teachers.

I care about all of my students and all I want is to see them succeed. I need to make sure parents get that message. To do this, I send an email home within the first few weeks of school to introduce myself and say something positive about their student. I have had great positive feedback from this. I find it amazing that some parents don't ever hear positive things about their kids. Since my school has a 1:1 laptop program, I will copy the students on these emails so they know what I said.

To communicate with parents on a larger scale has been a challenge for me. I would like to keep parents informed about what is happening and I have tried a blog. This is where I realized that some parents had a hard time understanding how to use a blog as a form of communication. During tonights' #edchat, many ideas were shared like having a class wiki or having a facebook page for your class. I am interested in pursuing one or more of these ideas, but I'm looking for feedback.  What do you use to sustain open communication with your parents?  Do you give any training to parents on how to use these communication tools?

Comments

  1. This continues to be a tough area because parents consistently ask for more communication, but even when that communication occurs, they aren't sure what to do with the information. The problem is deeper than the mechanics of communication; parents need to be both schooled in 21st century communication modes, and what their role is as a parent once they receive the knowledge they are asking for.

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