This past month our faculty met to discuss an important component to student success. A positive relationship between parents and teachers creates an environment in which the student can reach his/her greatest potential. At our meeting teachers discussed effective and productive communication strategies, factors to consider when deciding to contact parents, lessons learned from tense meetings with parents, and communication actions by teachers and parents that can negatively impact student progress. Common effective practices discussed included contacting parents early in the term; making sure to contact parents for positive reasons; maintaining a class web site to update parents on the daily objectives and classroom assignments; staying focused on the facts during parent meetings; working with parents to create a plan for success; establishing a means for follow up communication; and selecting the right mode of communication.
We reviewed parent-teacher communication guidelines developed by other districts and our ultimate goal will be to develop common communication guidelines for parents and teachers. Any feedback from parents or resources from other educators would be much appreciated.