Search form

Enhancing Parent-Teacher Communication for Improved Student Success

Parents and teachers—we're not on opposing teams, no matter how true that might feel sometimes. We're two sides of the same coin. We both want our students to succeed, right?

Effective communication between parents and teachers is crucial for the success of students. When parents and teachers work together, they can create a supportive and nurturing environment that fosters academic and personal growth. But communication gaps and misunderstandings can be a big hurdle for collaboration. 

We can't ignore the need for better communication between school and home. Implementing various strategies can bridge the gap and create a strong partnership between parents and teachers.

Why is Parent-Teacher Communication Important?

Increased Understanding

Understanding the child enhances the student's learning. Parents have invaluable insights into their child's strengths, weaknesses, and learning styles. Sharing this information with teachers allows tailored instruction to meet that student's individual needs.

Withholding that information slows the progression of the student. Parents and teachers need to communicate openly for the good of the child.

Monitored Academic Progress

You need parents to be aware of their child's academic progress, including strengths and areas for improvement. Share it with them! This knowledge empowers parents to provide additional support at home and work collaboratively with teachers to address any challenges.

Promotes Consistency at School and Home

Students benefit from a consistent approach to learning and behavior at school and home. Parents and teachers need to be on the same page when it comes to expectations, routines, and disciplinary strategies. This consistency fosters a sense of stability and predictability, enabling students to thrive.

Strategies for Enhancing Parent-Teacher Communication

We know we need to have a stronger connection as a supportive team. So let's review some strategies to improve our communication:

1. Make Time for Meetings and Visits

An open house and parent-teacher conferences are a perfect opportunity to come face-to-face for open communication. Organizing regular opportunities for these interactions allows parents and teachers to discuss academic progress, share concerns, and establish goals for the child. These meetings facilitate relationship building and provide a platform for open and honest communication.

2. Use Digital Platforms to Chat and Connect

Utilizing digital platforms, such as online portals or apps, can streamline communication and provide a convenient way for parents and teachers to exchange information. These platforms can be used for sharing assignments, grades, behavioral updates, and upcoming events. They offer a quick and accessible method for staying informed and engaged in the child's education.

Teachers must ensure parents are familiar with the digital platform or offer video or Zoom instruction time to help them become familiar with it.

3. Send Newsletters or Email Updates

Regular newsletters and teacher updates are an easy way to have transparency with families. Sending out regular newsletters or emails to keep parents informed about classroom activities, upcoming assignments, and important events helps to keep families focused on education when life gets busy. This proactive approach ensures that parents know what their child is learning and can support their academic progress accordingly.

4. Personalize Your Style

Individualized communication recognizes that each child is unique. Teachers can personalize communication to address specific concerns or celebrate achievements. Sending personalized emails, making phone calls, or scheduling individual meetings demonstrates a teacher's commitment to the student's success and shows parents their involvement is valued.

5. Offer Parent Workshops

Parent education workshops or seminars on effective study habits, technology usage, or adolescent development can empower parents with the knowledge and tools to support their child's learning journey. These workshops also serve as opportunities for parents to connect with other parents and share experiences.

6. Set Clear Boundaries

Encouraging two-way communication creates an environment that fosters open dialogue. Teachers should actively seek input from parents, listen attentively to their perspectives, and consider their suggestions. Likewise, parents should feel comfortable approaching teachers with questions or concerns, ensuring any issue is addressed promptly and collaboratively.

Don't feel the need to share your personal cell number or email with any parent. Ensure to keep contract hours when replying to parents so both educator and parent have set boundaries. 

7. Be Mindful of Cultural Communication Styles

Recognizing and respecting different cultural norms, languages, and communication styles is essential for effective communication. Schools should provide translation services or interpreters, if necessary, to facilitate communication with non-English-speaking parents. By embracing cultural diversity and tailoring communication approaches, schools can create an inclusive environment where all parents feel valued and understood. 

Communication Collaboration 

When parents and teachers work together, we can create a supportive, nurturing environment that maximizes student potential. We can foster stronger collaboration by bridging the communication gap, leading to better academic outcomes and overall student success.

Written by Rachel Jones
Education World Contributor
Copyright© 2023 Education World