I am a teacher. I believe my primarily goal is to teach the students the content they need in order to be successful and well prepared for the next school year. In that process, effective parent and student communication is critical to attaining that goal. The focus of this plan is on fostering those relationships (Meltzo, 2001).
In this particular time, we are working with a different kind of parent. Parents are busy and, at times, overwhelmed. Schools inundate parents with weekly paperwork sent home from the PTO, the office, and various other sources. I have observed in the past 4-5 years, that much of the paperwork either never gets taken out of the backpack or gets thrown away and not read. The goal of this plan is to effectively build relationships through communication utilizing current technology and human interactions. This is simply how parents prefer to communicate. Simplicity and workability is the key.
Teacher –Parent Communication
School Designated Open House
* Create a friendly classroom environment in which the parents feel comfortable. This is the first step in creating open lines of communication. Parents should feel a sense of comfort upon first meeting the teacher. They should feel that they can contact the teacher at any time for any concern.
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* Provide a questionnaire for parents asking them what form of communication is the most convenient and workable for them – phone calls, emails, or notes.
Group Parent Teacher Meeting
* Discuss the curriculum map for the year, resources for parents, homework guidelines, and questions/concerns. This will be scheduled for the 2nd week in August. It will give parents an opportunity to have experienced the beginnings of routines, and have a foundation on which to base the meeting on. Scheduled for 5:30.
Personal Emails, Phone calls, or Notes
* These are individualized communications.
* These will be based on the parent’s preferred mode of communication as indicated on the parent questionnaire.
* They will be used, as needed, to provide parents with academic, social, or behavioral concerns or accolades.
Set up a Group Email Parent Folder
* No personal names will be identifiable in the address section of the email.
* This tool will be used to send brief tidbits of information to parents throughout the year. Example: There will be a sub on Friday.
Set up a Teacher Website
* This website will have information on it which relates to curriculum timeline, links supporting the curriculum, other curriculum supporting information (i.e. PowerPoint), informative parenting articles, and such.
* These will be sent home each Friday with a succinct note on conduct, homework completion, and personal notes related to academic performance.
“Happy Notes” (Maggin, Oliver, Partin, Robertson, & Wehby, 2010)
* These are sent home randomly. These are hand written or computer generated notes detailing a positive occurrence that the student had in the classroom that day. There will need to be a master sheet identifying who was awarded notes to ensure that they are equitable.
Standard Based Report Cards (Graham-Clay, 2005)
Timeline: Every nine weeks based on the county’s calendar
Good teachers have a good qualifications and subject knowledge; they are organised, energetic and have empathy and good communication skills. This is obviously important for good education. However, it is really the diligence and intelligence of the student that determines whether learning will be successful or not. Although every student benefits from good teachers, only a fraction of a ...
* These are report cards based on the Georgia Performance Standards.
* Specific comments made on each report card.
Face to Face Conferences (Lacina, 2011)
* These will be offered after each report card or upon request by either the teacher or parent.
Timeline: January – May
* PowerPoint in-services with students and parents.
* Microsoft Word in-services with students and parents.
* These are designed to give parents and students a basic introduction to PowerPoint and Word programs. Maneuvering and searching for learning websites will be covered as well. These in-services provide an avenue for kids to further independently explore their learning.
End of the Year Party and Slide Show
* Individual student awards are given out at this time – every student gets recognition for what I will remember about them.
* Slide Show
Teacher – Student Communication
Student/Teacher communication should be natural and daily. This is done by building relationships through daily interactions with the students. As these relationships are fostered, better communication naturally occurs.
* Greet students at the door in the morning.
* When reading with individual students (1-2 times per week), discuss progress and what areas to target.
* Pull different students aside on the playground and carry on brief casual conversations (Janson & King, 2006).
* Partake in teacher/student conferences to discuss progress and areas of opportunity.
* Give regular positive oral feedback to the students. The feedback can be based on academics or behavior.
It is not about the quantity of communication that will create effective open lines of communication. It is about the quality of the communication that takes place. Parents should feel welcomed, respected, and confident in the teacher’s ability. If the teacher effectively communicates from the very beginning, the school year will run smoother and, ultimately, be more productive. This applies to both parent/teacher and teacher/student relationships.
Parents for Public Schools Today, the push for more accountability of student performance changed how assessment will be measured and judged in public schools. Not only will students be assessed through test scores, but also through attendance, school work, and observations. Parents hold the schools responsible for the advancement of their students' knowledge. Different tests are given to measure ...
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Maggin, D.M., Oliver, R.M., Partin, T.C., Robertston, R.E., Wehby, J.H. (2010).
praise and opportunities to respond to promote appropriate student behavior.
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