A+ Strategies For Involving Parents In The Classroom
August 13, 2018
By: Cathie Ericson
Parent involvement in the classroom is a win-win-win: It can help teachers who are routinely crushed for time; it allows parents to feel more connected to the school; and, most importantly, countless studies show that students with involved parents do better in school.
Seasoned teachers may find parental involvement in the classroom to be naturally high some years. And other times, extra efforts to bolster teacher communication with parents are needed to ensure the involvement of parents in the classroom activities and emphasize the benefits it has for students.
Here are four key communicating with parent strategies for teachers to help spur parental involvement in the classroom from the first day.
1. Start off on the right foot
Believe it or not, some parents feel uncomfortable participating in classroom activities because they are not sure how or when to help—or even if their help is needed. Teacher communication with parents can answer all their questions and start a two-way conversation that can lead to better relationships throughout the year.
Have each parent fill out a form that gives you more information about their child and then make sure to reciprocate by giving information on your own background. Parents who feel they “know you” might be more willing to be involved.
2. Recruit parental involvement in the classroom in a number of areas
Parents are more apt to help when they believe it fits their availability and skill sets. After all, not everyone has the time to help with reading circles during the middle of the day, and not everyone even enjoys that one-on-one time with kids. That’s why it’s important that teachers communicating with parents share a multitude of ways to get parents involved in the classroom, such as:
• Grading papers or prepping projects at home
• Helping with the web presence
• Planning the class parties
• Overseeing fundraisers
• Participating in career day to share their expertise
• Chaperoning field trips.
3. Maintain regular communication with parents
While it can be tempting to send information home with students as “backpack mail,” remember that not every child will responsibly deliver it to their parents, which can lead to confusion and a breakdown in communication. Commit to be one of the teachers communicating with parents frequently so that they are aware of what’s going on.
In addition to sending regularly weekly or monthly emails, look into websites for teachers to communicate with parents. Your page can serve as a central clearinghouse for details on volunteer opportunities, classroom needs, upcoming calendar notes, homework assignments, field trip forms and any other information they may need.
4. Create a resource center for involving parents in the classroom
Even though their heart is in the right place, parental involvement in the classroom can become disruptive if you have volunteers who need excess supervision or aren’t sure what tasks they can complete.
To head off questions, you can create an area near your desk or in the back of the room where you can leave details on ways to get parents involved in the classroom, whether you need them to decorate the bulletin board, sort papers or make copies of the next week’s homework worksheets.
Above all, be sure to thank them for their efforts and their interest in their child’s education.
About the Author
Cathie Ericson is a freelance writer covering business and consumer topics. She creates branded content for Fortune 500 companies, and her work has appeared in LearnVest, Costco Magazine, Forbes, TheGlassHammer.com and IDEA Fitness. Follow her @cathieericson.
All content provided herein is for educational purposes only. It is provided “as is” and neither the author nor Office Depot, Inc. warrant the accuracy of the information provided, nor do they assume any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein.
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