Educators understand the importance of keeping families engaged in children’s education. While teachers play a major role in helping their students learn and excel, it’s even more beneficial to have families engaged in learning and provide teachers with support. When students have involved families, it can help them perform better in school, academically and behaviorally. Unfortunately, many children do not have families who participate in their education, for various reasons. Many parents are busy with work or other responsibilities, but it’s important that educators instill the importance of being involved to families in order to better support students.
Send home information
As an educator, it’s important to get off to a great start with parents at the very beginning of the year. The first day of school, send home information about you, your class, and your plans for the year. Provide parents with your contact information and keep them informed on what’s happening at the school and in your classroom. When there are volunteer opportunities, send parents information. Send regular updates throughout the year and invite their participation.
Create quality activities
If you truly want parents to be engaged in their kids’ educations, offer quality activities for parents to attend and get involved with. Have family nights where children and their guardians can come for activities, such as storytime, games, or anything else. These family nights can take place in the evening and encourage the family to bring everyone, such as younger or older siblings. At these events, provide dinner and/or snacks; families will greatly appreciate this gesture.
Utilize online resources
Sending information home to parents is a wonderful tool to use, but it’s also likely that some students forget to give their parents papers or they’ll get lost at home. Make any information accessible online; consider creating a Twitter or online group for your class where parents can check up on class activities, homework, and contact you. Guardians might find this option much easier to stay involved than contacting you or coming into the school on their own.
Report good news
Far too often, there are tense relationships between educators and parents, especially if the student frequently has negative reports sent home. Parents are understandably protective of their children, so they might feel that they’re in opposition to a teacher that’s reporting their child’s bad behavior. While teachers cannot avoid dealing with classroom behavioral issues, it’s important to also report the good that student does to his or her parents. They’ll love hearing about what good things their child has done and it’ll make less positive conversations easier to have.
Ask for feedback
Educators may be wary of opening themselves up to criticism from parents because it’s so often that parents offer negative feedback that can feel unfair, but showing families you’re open to discussing their opinions and ideas makes these conversations easier to have. Be open and understanding and make sure parents know that you’re open to discussing their children and their performance at any point in the year.