Magazine article Curriculum Review

Building Positive Relationships: Parents as Partners in Teaching and Learning

Magazine article Curriculum Review

Building Positive Relationships: Parents as Partners in Teaching and Learning

Article excerpt

Educators today work with students experiencing a variety of parenting and guardianship scenarios: involved parents, disinterested parents, single parents, working parents, adoptive parents and relatives serving as the primary guardians. To achieve and improve the academic and social outcomes parents and schools strive for, an effective partnership is necessary. Seeing parents as a valuable resource can help initiate positive relationships that lead to success for all involved.

Here are some ideas for how you can get started inviting parents into your classroom and educational community:

* Reach Out First. Many parents today are confused about their role in their children's educational experiences. They want to be involved, but don't want to be seen as a "helicopter parent." They feel an ownership in their child's success, but respect the role of the teacher in constructing the learning process. Communicate to parents that you encourage their role as a supporter of their child's education and consistently affirm their contributions and involvement.

* Involve Tech Tools. Set up a website or online newsletter where you can provide parents with updated, accessible information. This strategy is mutually beneficial as it serves as a communication vehicle for parents and advocates parental support of your endeavors with their child at school.

* Encourage Questions and Sharing. Be sure parents are aware of your goals and expectations for their child's educational experience during their time with you. Welcome their questions and offer ideas on how they can support your efforts from home.

* Make the Time. Identify and share blocks of time during your workday or week when you are available for individual conversations and meetings to address parents' questions, comments and concerns. Politely inform parents that these windows are the best times to discuss student progress, and that you're happy to accommodate them during the outlined timeframes. …

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