The competition between students from early classes and the level of difficulty in learning is at an all-time high today.
Many of the parents still think that schools are solely responsible for teaching whatsoever is necessary for the kids to learn and survive; BUT what we tend to ignore is how crucial it is for parents to have a strong relationship with the teachers and the school.
Parents and teachers should go beyond discussing the scores and the report cards to work together to understand and work on children’s strength, weaknesses, interests, and talents.
All the schools that I know of have “parent-teachers meeting” or PTMs at regular intervals. What do these mean? What is the purpose of such meetings? What outcomes do we desire? Does meeting thrice every year build relationships in the fashion they should be? Is it enough to understand what a child requires?
These are questions we need to ask ourselves and if we do – we will understand the importance as well as the benefit of bringing parents and teachers on the same page.
There are several notions and beliefs around this system. While some are intimidated with the education system and wants to make no mistake, others feel they don’t receive adequate amounts of information or have a connection with the teachers. There gaps and unrealistic expectations on both sides which are an obstacle to a healthy relationship
That said, parents and teachers cannot build relationships in a day. They take time, work, consistency, communication and most importantly – trust. It is the responsibility of teachers and parents to have meaningful and productive conversations to create an action plan for their child.
If the teachers, parents, and children are in sync, it will only help boost student achievement and outcomes.
In this post, we will tell you ways to build this relationship and help communicate with parents.
Ask them to create a portfolio (or do it yourself)
A detailed portfolio would be something that includes the learning areas, assessments, and observations that are meaningful and structured around each child’s learning style. It is also a great way to showcase their interests, passions, talents, and accomplishments.
You can divide the portfolio into several sections like learning areas, milestones, assessments, notes, thoughts etc
Schedule a meet early in the year to meet the parents
Every year, you will find new students in your classroom. So, why not take the initiative and set up a meet early in the year? You can discuss the portfolio, how to go forward and what to pay attention to for the individual child.
Go over this portfolio at regular intervals. It is also important that we keep both the parents involved if possible. When you go over the information in details, you will begin to understand the children in your classroom better. For example –
- What do you think is that child’s strength?
- Is there anything of concern (from either side – teacher or parents)
- Is there anything you want to know more about?
- What requires your attention?
- Do you think the assessments are fair for the amount of work by the child? etc
Frankly, this is a time-consuming process BUT the benefits are worth it. For the working parents, this may not pan out the way it should. In such cases, we highly recommend resorting to online tools like Hangout and Skype. They are the perfect (and, free) tools to hold virtual conferences with parents that are unable to make it to the classroom during the day.
When your children go to the next class, you can pass on the information (learned from the portfolio) to the next teacher. Once you have this portfolio, you (along with the parents) will start to resonate with the child’s learning journey. Not only will you be able to pay attention to the journey the right way, but you can also help all the children excel.
These are the top two suggestions we have for bringing teachers and parents together. But, what can schools do to make this easier? Not all the parent have so much time to go through this, how can we help them? How do we reduce the burden of creating this portfolio? How to ease the process?
Keeping in mind how crucial is this to child’s development, we developed Playablo for schools. In Playablo, the idea is to keep the parent and teacher on the same page with respect to their child’s performance in the classroom.
Both teachers and parents have the same view of the child’s progress report so that it is no longer perception driven. Here is a sample screenshot from the app is provided:
Both parents and teachers can understand
- What they are currently learning
- How are they doing
- In which areas do they need improvement or help
- What areas they are good at
- Trends in learning and much more
In other words, it is an online portfolio that gets created on its own and provides an effective way to communicate in the dearth of time.
Once you start working on streamlining parent-teacher-student communication chain, you will also reduce the time taken by the teachers to respond to parents queries, phone calls and emails. When everybody is onboard and on the same page
- Parents will trust more and wonder less about what is happening at school
- At home conversations about learning, homework and problem areas become productive. Parents and teachers can work together to help their kid through learning.
- Teachers have more time and energy to focus on teaching. After all, parents will not be reaching out to you every day asking questions and sharing concerns.
- Children feel at home when teachers and parents are on the same page. They feel motivated to work and are likely to perform better
There you go. 2019 is around the corner and it is the best time to start working towards building a model that you can implement from the next sessions.
Remember, the focus should be on building relationships with parents and supporting the kid throughout the learning journey (without feeling overwhelmed and stressed).
How are you planning to put the communication chain in place? Do you already have a method to communicate with parents? Comment below and let us know.
If you are interested in partnering with Playablo, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at +91-97408 78833