In a partnership, it takes two hands to clap. Research has shown that teachers play a huge role in determining the level of family involvement in children’s education. However, involving parents in their students’ education might be challenging for teachers.
Therefore, here are some tips to help teachers facilitate strong home-school partnerships.
Developing relationships as a first step in establishing a successful partnership
If you show an interest in learning about your student’s family and background, their families would be more likely to feel confident participating in school. You can make yourself available to parents (within reason, of course), respect parents’ choices and their suggestions about their child’s education. Trust that families act in the best interest of their children and encourage them to engage in open conversation with you.
Know that every little interaction with parents sets the stage for mutual support and understanding
You can initiate communication, maximize chances to make informal contact such as having corridor chats, and sustain communication by inviting parents to share updates from home. Don’t be disheartened if you perceive a lack of communication from parents, but rather think about how to lower these barriers to communication – is it for a lack of avenues, lack of comfort, or opportunity?
Guide students to share their learning updates with parents
Students are the common thread between home and school and are also crucial in home-school partnerships. It would pay off to include them in some parent-teacher meetings, to have a say in how parents can help them with their education.
Accommodate each family’s background
Find out each family’s involvement in their child’s learning and empower them to support learning in the home environment. Supporting their understanding of school work would lead to greater appreciation of your work, and potentially more participation in school. It’d also be good for parents to know that their actions at home add real value to their child’s education and link the learning children have at home to that in the classroom. Incorporating home experiences into the lesson curriculum on home experiences can help with learning.
Ultimately, a home-school partnership is not one that happens overnight. It involves a commitment from parents and school. To smoothen this process, aids like an effective school management system could make relationship building easier. For example, LittleLives not only helps schools monitor and analyze data related to students, staff, parents and daily administration, but also offers an intuitive school communication platform for teachers and parents to keep one another updated.
If you would like to find out more, talk to LittleLives at email@example.com!