Enlist Parents as Partners in the Teaching and Learning Process
One goal for school leaders and teachers is to improve student learning. To achieve improved student learning, it is important to enlist the parents of our students as partners in the teaching and learning process. As school leaders or teachers, there are many ways we can create opportunities to build relationships with parents; here are three from our research aligned to improved student learning:
- Provide regular feedback to parents on how well their child is learning.
- Recognize the child for good work and behavior at school, and share the recognition with parents.
- Make positive phone calls or send emails / notes home to parents about their child.
Some teachers may not be able to squeeze another 5-10 minutes in their week to make positive phone calls to parents, while others may be reluctant to consider positive phone calls to parents. One school principal shared that she challenges her teachers to “make five positive phone calls home a week, with the goal of calling every parent at least once a semester.” The result was that the school’s score on the parent satisfaction survey increased (from 2.00 to 4.38 on a 5-point scale). As important, the teachers at the school reported feeling that the calls have great value. What a win – teachers see great value! And, what we know from our research is that when teachers create a plan for engaging in the three actions above, they create meaningful relationships with their students’ parents… and with their students; and there is increased parent satisfaction and improved student learning.
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