Why You Should Use “Rounding” to Build Parent Teacher Relationships

What is “rounding”?

Rounding is a tactic used in hospitals, and it is one of their most successful practices. Think back to being in a hospital and having the doctor or nurse come around every so often to ask a list of simple questions: How well is your pain being managed? Do you have everything you need in your reach? Is there anything I can do to make you more comfortable before I leave? This helps the doctor gather information about how the patient is doing, while making the patient feel heard and cared about. Imagine using this same practice in schools to build parent teacher relationships.

How can “rounding” help build parent teacher relationships?

Building parent teacher relationships through rounding. Teachers should always be working to build what we call an “emotional bank account” with parents. Deposits to this account happen in the form of positive and clear communication, as well as efforts to show that they matter and their child matters. In our post about Earning Parent Support, we explained how teachers can start with a method called AIDET: the perfect introduction to parents that covers all the bases and opens that “emotional bank account”.

But, how do you make sure you are steadily making deposits? Teachers do this by “rounding” on parents. Don’t take on too much. Start by calling or emailing 3-5 parents each week. We have worked with many school districts to introduce this concept, and in these districts, we have found that parents feel more connected to their child’s education. By being more connected, teachers and parents support each other to make sure that their student succeeds in learning.

3 Questions to ask parents while rounding:

Calling or emailing these questions to parents is part of the message. Even more important is sincerity. Parents want to know that their opinion is valued and appreciated from their child’s teacher. Here are three questions to ask parents while rounding on them:

  1. What do you think is aiding your child best in making sure they hit their learning targets?
  2. Do you see any gaps that are keeping your child from hitting their targets?
  3. Do you believe your child has all the information they need to hit the targets?

We challenge you to implement this into your weekly schedule. Do you notice results?

As a parent, how does open communication help you in supporting your child as a student? Would “rounding” from a teacher be welcomed?


For more information about rounding with your students, please click the following link: Building Relationships by Checking In with Students

Featured Image: Care.com  • Additional Image: Reading Rockets

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