No teacher education guide has ever told you that a solid teachers-parent relationship can only achieve children’s holistic education. This is not us; it is the research speaking. As teachers teach, we just do not take care of a child’s academics; we are responsible for educating the child in the true sense. That can be done only when the two pillars of a childhood growing up years lend equal support. Yes, you guessed that right. Teaches-parent relationship is the pillar that we are talking about.
Education being a commitment between teachers and parents, we have a compelling responsibility to build a strong teachers-parent relationship. This is even more important in online education. Here, in this post, we share our tips to make a positive bond between you and your student’s parents.
Ways to build Teachers-Parents Relationship
Efficient Parent Communication
We all agree that efficient communication is the key to every relationship, not just teachers-parent relationship. The positive results of communication are manifold. Therefore take the first step to communicate with the parents. The life of a good teacher is always hectic. Therefore investing time in communicating efficiently sometimes takes a backseat in our list of priorities. We may still be doing our duty by sending emails, broadcast messages, or newsletters. However, by communicating with the parents in the right way, we will live our role as teachers.
We ought to think and plan how to communicate and how often to communicate. Every student is unique, so how often the parent needs to be updated will depend on your students’ needs. Communication is a two-way process; it is not just what we speak. It is also about what the parents understand. Listening and responding with patience and understanding is part and parcel of good communication. Also, your body language should be confident, positive, and empathetic.
One of the best ways to win over even the most demanding parents is by being accessible to them. Parents often have many questions in their minds – about assignments, projects, and the classroom in general. Maybe, they are concerned about something happening in the school; perhaps they need help with the technology or the platform your online classes are running on. Their instinct is to reach out to you for teacher support. Hence, being accessible is essential.
Start from day one itself. Hand over your phone number and email address to the parents on your first interaction. You can even ask your students to note your contact details in their school diary. As important as it is to be accessible, you also need to communicate your timings of availability so that they don’t end up contacting you for teacher support at the wrong time.
Be accommodating for better Teachers-Parent Relationship
Every teacher teaching is an equal partner in a child’s growth process, so we need to be accommodating to our other partners. Parents may sometimes have a few requests from us. For example, the parent might be busy with his office work and has forgotten or missed out on your scheduled meeting as long as it is not too inconvenient and you can accommodate and reschedule your appointment for some other time.
Being accommodating works for you in two ways. First, it helps you build a better parent-teacher relationship which is your primary goal. Second, the parents are indebted, and next time you need them to adjust their time for you, they will oblige. Thus, it is a win-win proposition for both of you. However, be mindful not to let this be a habit.
Keep them updated
Reach out to your students’ parents from time to time and keep them updated on the activities in your classroom. Every parent is curious to know what his child is doing in the school. Therefore, by keeping them updated, you are answering their unasked questions. Schedule meetings beyond your mandatory teacher parents meet. Drop a hello in case you see them online. These small gestures go a long way in building lasting relationships.
Further, it is always better to offer a solution to their problems concerning your students. For example, instead of just saying that your student needs to develop his arithmetic skills, you can advise them to give him arithmetic practice daily for half an hour. This will help the parents as they often do not know what to do. Also, this will express your sense of responsibility towards your child.
Be open to feedback
Teacher parents relationships work best when they are open-ended. As parents, they might sometimes have valuable inputs which could have gone unnoticed at your front. Therefore, ask them about their views and feedback. This will sometimes give you good ideas on different facets of your teaching methods and classroom management, thus helping you improve as a teacher.
If you do not agree with their suggestion or feedback, then learn to disagree politely. Being respectful is one of the basic requirements of accepting feedback positively and building strong bonds. Unfortunately, this is something that no teacher education textbook will teach you.
Taking care of multiple students and their parents can sometimes become too much for any good teacher. But, with a bit of planning and technology’s help, you can overcome all obstacles in building a robust teacher-parent relationship. You always do not need to visit them or ask them to visit to reach out to them. Schedule your meets very comfortably on your teaching app. You can reach out to multiple parents at one go. You have to try it to believe it!