Tips for Creating Parent-Teacher Partnerships

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One of the most disheartening things I have seen as a teacher is the “us vs. them” mentality when it comes to parent-teacher relationships. Parents and teachers both have the same goal, so why does it sometimes feel like parents and teachers aren’t on the same team? It doesn’t have to be this way! Keep reading for some tips to help you create parent-teacher partnerships that will last all year long.

Tips for Creating Parent-Teacher Partnerships

Why Parent-Teacher Partnerships Are Important

It is worth every effort to get parents on your side. When parents feel like they are partnering with you in educating their child, the entire school year goes differently.

  • More Parent Involvement: Whether you need supplies for a special project or an extra set of hands on a field trip, parents are more likely to step up when they feel like they are a valued partner. 
  • More Receptive About Behavior: When you have a strong relationship with parents, they will be more receptive to troubleshooting behavior issues with you. This can make your behavior management more effective.
  • More Information About the Student: What happens outside of the classroom can have even more of an impact on student learning than what happens inside of the classroom. When parents feel that they can trust you, they are more likely to share important information with you. This will help you be more in tune with your students’ needs during the school day.

How to Create Parent-Teacher Partnerships

How do you go about creating effective relationships with the guardians of all of your students? It can seem a little bit daunting when you look at a class list full of new names at the beginning of the year. You might have an occasional sibling of a former student, but the majority of these families will be new to you!

Building relationships can take time, but it’s important to get parents on your side as soon as possible. Here are a few things that you can to do establish parent-teacher partnerships early in the school year:

1. Make Connections

First and foremost, it’s essential to make connections with your students and their parents at the beginning of the school year. In fact, building relationships is one of the most important parts of behavior management, which I teach in my new Kindergarten Behavior Blueprint course.

Take the time to introduce yourself! It’s helpful for parents to know more about you, your background, and your interests. Parents also love to know that you’re interested in their child as an individual. While I’m sure you make these connections in the classroom, it’s also helpful to include parents in this getting-to-know-you period of the school year.

One way that you can do this is with a back-to-school family project. Parents can help their child create an All About Me activity together. This is an easy way for parents to see that you want to get to know their child better.

You can also include some getting-to-know-you activities during a Meet the Teacher or kindergarten roundup event. No matter what you choose, you’ll find that the effort you put into getting to know your students and their families will go a long way. You will be able to set the tone for a strong parent-teacher partnership!

2. Celebrate Student Success Early and Often

One of the biggest contributors to the “us vs. them” mentality is student behavior. It’s simply human nature for parents to jump to their child’s side when a teacher calls about a behavior incident. 

This is especially true when the first contact you make with parents is about a negative behavior. Parents need to see that you’re also watching for their child to make good decisions at school! You can do this by celebrating student success and communicating these wins with parents as often as you can. When parents can see that you’re as happy with their child’s good choices as you are, they are more likely to feel like you’re on the same side.

An easy way to celebrate student success is with glow notes. These are simple notes that you can send home to parents when a student has demonstrated a positive behavior. Each note has a checklist that you can use to quickly fill out before sending it home. It takes very little time out of the daily routine to write a glow note or two, but it has a huge impact on student behavior as well as parent relationships.

3. Communicate Consistently

Inconsistent communication is another way that teachers can unknowingly be contributing to the “us vs. them” mentality. Parents can quickly feel excluded when they hear about school news from another parent and not directly from their child’s teacher. It’s important to create a system that you can use to communicate effectively with parents all year long. Whether it’s sending home the glow and grow notes about behavior or keeping parents looped in about activities, a communication system is vital for establishing parent-teacher relationships. 

A communication folder is an excellent way to maintain this consistent communication! Parents know that they have a reliable line of communication with you and it will become part of the daily routine

Printable Parent Communication Tools

I have created a bundle of resources that will make it easier for you to maintain consistent parent communication all year long. These print-and-go resources include glow and grow notes, informational handouts, conference forms, communication folder printables, and so much more! The majority of these templates are editable, so you can ensure that these communication tools work for you. 

If you’d like to take a closer look at everything included in this bundle of communication tools, you can find it in the Teaching Exceptional Kinders shop or on TPT.

Parent Communication - Bundle of Editable Forms: Save on 10 Resources!

Save These Tips for Creating Parent-Teacher Partnerships

Be sure to save this post so you can come back to it later! Just add the pin below to your favorite teaching board on Pinterest. You’ll be able to quickly find these tips and resources when you’re looking for ways to improve your parent-teacher partnerships.

Tips for Creating Parent-Teacher Partnerships

Amy

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