According to the US Department of Education and the Institute of Education Sciences, parent-teacher communication, initiated by the teacher, is a critical element of student success. Parents report that clear communication provided by the educator increases their confidence and ability to participate in their child’s education.
Educators are looking for an organized way to communicate with parents about what students are learning in school. Establishing consistent parent-teacher communication not only keeps parents in the loop, it also helps to empower students. Students are better able to talk about what they are learning and what assignments are on the horizon with their parents.
Note taking templates, charts, calendars, and other graphic organizers play a crucial role in facilitating effective parent-teacher communication. These physical organizers give parents visibility into what is going on at school and provides them the opportunity to become more involved in their child’s education.
For parents who are reluctant to communicate, teachers must create opportunities for dialogue. Creating a report about student success is a great way to engage with reluctant parents.
Parent-Teacher Communication at the Start of the School Year
Establishing communication with parents is a good way to start the school year, especially with parents whose children may have a learning disability. The start of the school year is the time to negotiate a consistent communication system with parents and students that meet the unique needs of each learner.
A welcome letter that outlines academic expectations and provides parents and students with the opportunity to provide feedback can be a good way to build a parent-teacher communication system that works for all stakeholders. This is also a good way to show parents and students that their voices and opinions matter, building trust.
Providing positive feedback to parents about early successes within the first two weeks of school allows students to appreciate the value of consistent and effective parent-teacher communication.
Tracking Goal Achievement with Academic Planners
Planners are a vital and proven tool for organizing information that contributes to student success. A planner allows teachers to take detailed records, including any communication with parents and educational support teams.
Detailed records are often what makes progress in learning and behavior goals possible. Through the use of precise dialogue notes, the teacher is able to manage and improve the student’s opportunities for success.
Planners can be uniquely designed to track and improve students success in the following areas:
- Academic skills
- Behavior modification progress
- Homework instructions and homework completion
- Participation in and the organization of special events
The flexibility of planner design allows for a great range of opportunities for academic tracking and information communication. Many parents place a high value on having a hard copy of goal charts, unit expectations, project instructions, and awards for success.
Facilitating Parent-Teacher Communication
Schools can use student planners to improve parent-teacher communication. Adopting a school-wide standard for planners can be an effective parent communication strategy. Custom planners also offer many benefits to support student success.
For younger students, including pre-k learners, planners are an excellent resource. At the end of the school day, parents can open up the planner and immediately see what’s happening in the class and read any notes from the teacher.
The parents of today’s world are busy people, and school has changed since they were students. When it comes time for parent-teacher conferences, parents can bring in their child’s planner as a reference for discussion.
Likewise, student planners offer parents insight into curriculum expectations, school culture, class expectations, as well as their own child’s progress.
Evaluating the Success of Parent-Teacher Communication
Set realistic short terms goals and look for improvement in the following areas:
- Students are meeting academic goals more consistently
- Parents are communicating more often with teachers
- Clear parent-teacher communication is focused on student success
Measure and evaluate the success of these efforts and revise what isn’t working.
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