Wednesday, September 28, 2016

5 Ways to Win Over Parents

Hey Friends!

Do you ever feel hassled by your students' parents? Do you get a ton of emails from them? Do they seem to question everything? Today, I have some ideas to share on how to win over parents so they feel confident in you and trust you as their child's teacher.

Great ideas to improve parent teacher communication. You can use these tips to help your students be successful and make teaching more enjoyable this year.

I am a mentor teacher at my school and lately I have overheard a few teachers asking what to do about parents who hassle them. Now we know there might be that *one* parent who might just be a true hassle and give you a run for your money.... that's not who this post is about. :)

First, let's think of this for a parents point of view. As a mom of a 2nd grader, I get it...I need to feel complete trust in the person who influences and teaches my child for 7 hours a day.  I need to believe that my daughter is taken care of academically, emotionally, and socially. To be the best parent, I need to know what is expected of me to best help my child be successful.

Now from a teachers point of view, there are so many demands as an educator. I feel like most days I hardly can find a moment to use the restroom. I know to be the best teacher to my students I NEED support and respect from parents who are working with a common goal in mind.

I feel pretty comfortable saying my student's parents  trust me because they rarely question me or give me a hard time, they are on my team! #winwin They offer to help me or more importantly, when I do have to give them bad news about their child, they know my motives are pure and I am offering feedback as a way to support their child.

So here are "5 Ways to Be" to win over the parents of your students.

Be Intentional
So often as teachers we share ideas within our teaching team, or are asked to implement something new from our school district. As a teacher I am always thinking how will this help my students to be successful? What does my intuition tell me? What steps will I need to take to implement this new program? What else can I add? I never want to just do something because I was asked to do it at the expense of my students' learning. I am intentional and think of the long term results. You can read about an intentional decision I made regarding a word wall in my classroom {HERE}.

Be Positive
I regularly send home notes, make positive phone calls or send emails about my students. I am positive and encouraging with my students. I blogged about Star Students; a positive classroom management tip on my blog {HERE}. Since my kids are constantly praised or hearing praise for academic success', appropriate work habits, or effort they go home and share a positive attitude about school.

Be Visible and Approachable 
At my last school I used to walk my students out to the gate everyday, wave, smile, say hello to siblings, pet a dog, whatever. Parents liked to see me as a person, to get to know me at a more personal level. Even seeing me interacting with my students put their minds at ease. I cannot do this at my new school due to our dismissal procedures so I have tried to find other ways: approaching parents at assemblies, going out of my way to say hello when I see them on campus, finding ways for them to be part of our learning community on special celebration days like the 100th Day of School.

Be Clear and Consistent
I communicate several ways with parents but one form of communication they can consistently count on is a weekly newsletter that I send home with my students on Monday. In the newsletter, I clearly state our learning objectives and reminders for the week ahead. I offer ideas for ways they can further help their child succeed. Another way I am consistent is with homework.  I know parents and kids are busy after school. I limit the amount of homework I send home and always send it home on Monday to be returned on Friday. If I make any changes to our normal routine, I am sure to send a note home or a quick email explaining it to them. I send home graded assessments only on Fridays, I want them to know how their child is doing before progress reports or report cards. Just like I set routines and procedures in my classroom with my students, I do the same with their parents so they know what to expect.


Great ideas to improve parent teacher communication. You can use these tips to help your students be successful and make teaching more enjoyable this year.

 If you are interested in checking out this EDITABLE homework folders and newsletters,                you can see more {HERE}.

Be a Good Listener 
This might be the most important thing I can do as a teacher. I intently listen to what matters to my students. I want to capitalize on their strengths and interests. I know I can make a difference if they know I believe in them and they feel like they are important. I want them to know their thoughts, interests, and beliefs are valued in our community. I elicit parents for information about their child at the beginning of the year through a letter asking parents to tell me about their child.

Great ideas to improve parent teacher communication. You can use these tips to help your students be successful and make teaching more enjoyable this year.
You can access this editable resource {HERE}

I listen to parents when they come to me about their child. I really listen, let them get it out, before offering advice or giving details of a school situation. I think this is easier to understand now that I am a parent. My child is my everything, I will always go to bat for my child. I assume most parents feel that way. If I keep that in mind I am more able to see their supportive motive rather than feel attacked at their questioning.

Thanks for reading today, I hope at least one of these ideas were helpful to you! I'd love for you to share in the comments what you do to build better relationships with your students' parents. :)

2 comments:

  1. Great tips Christina! Thanks for sharing, great reminders!
    xo,
    Vicky

    ReplyDelete