When teaching and nurturing children in school or at home, there are particular activities that need to be shared between parent and teacher, communication is one of those significant activities. In order to assist children to do well in school, parents and teachers will need to maintain good contacts throughout the school year. This paper is claimed to describe some of the general matters in parent-teacher communication.
A central problem with communication between parents and teachers is the breakdown of either the parent or the teacher to make the first step. Teachers have accounted that some parents don’t volunteer to converse by phone or come out to visit to the school, even when the school offered chances such as open houses, parent-teacher discussions, or school events. Equally, parents sense that troubles in communication are due to educators failing to start the procedure of conversing with them unless there is a problem with their child. Nevertheless, good communication is the accountability of both parents and teachers.
As a parent, one should not sense that the teacher should forever be the one to make the initiative step. Parents should feel contented with initiating the communication with the child’s teacher and that parents have the right to do so. To reduce anxiety and confusion on both parents and teachers it is very important for parents and teachers to utilize all channels of effective communication in order to maintain student’s academic success and behavior in schools.
Parent teacher communication is extremely necessary for children’s accomplishments. The secret perk is that it will usher in a new ear and circumstances will become more enjoyable for parents, teachers and children will benefit the most from this cooperation. Parents and teachers must concur to move in one direction, which is to find ways and means to better serve the interest of the child. For illustration if the attitudinal pattern of the child is not in tune with the standard discipline, the parents and teachers can coordinate to help him or her express their feelings in other ways.
The behavior of the child can be fine-tuned greatly in a manner warranted by the class environment and ethos. “There are no guaranteed solutions that will work with every parent and in every situation that arises. However, common sense and research strongly support the need for effective communication between teachers and the parents or guardians of the children they teach. Virtually all combative or antagonistic situations that arise between parents and their children’s teacher are directly or indirectly related to some failure in communication.
It is such an important issue that it is currently part of all recommendations for pre-service teacher training, and it will go a long way in determining what kind of a school year you are going to have” (Lindberg & Swick,2006).
Knowing the child is the first step in catering to his needs and all consequents actions to make him a good human being and good learner are steps in this direction. “Call home or send a postcard to parents as soon as possible letting them know how enthusiastic you are about having their child in class. Be sure to state that you want parents to call you if they experience a problem. I have yet to find a parent who doesn’t
tell a teacher to do the same. Besides, students are less likely to misbehave once they realize you and parents “know each other”(Wierzbicki, 2008). A child’s life is more than grades and evaluation of home works. He is a human being who has a variety of needs, expectations, dreams and inclinations. Making a child a well rounded person needs extra ordinary efforts on behalf o those who have interest in making him so. They are none other than parents and teacher. What is inside him and what makes him so and remaining informed about his changing moods is very significant. A child has self respect and must be treated well so that his self esteem is not impaired.
Parents must facilitate teachers about the content of character of their children, strengths, motivations, requirements and all facts of concerns. It is because parents are more close to the teachers and know their aspirations lot more than teachers would in the normal circumstances. To meet this goal the teacher must dispatch a questionnaire in the start of the term to the parents to elicit essential information. This knowledge is greatly instrumental in molding the character pattern of the children. This is all better but the teacher must also try to cultivate better relations with the kid and observe the child by having increased interaction with him.
Teachers must observe the child and monitor his working and behavior in the classroom. Parent and teacher must cooperate in the debate over the questionnaire and set common pursuits for child for inculcating skills in the child that would lead to academic and non academic success. It is still more urgent for future life to come. Parent teacher communication all rest upon mutual revelations.
A parent must be consenting to tell each and everything about the activities of kid at home. Whatever is the ambience of home must be in the knowledge of the teacher so that the child remains on board in the right calculation of teacher. The spirit of the child must not be allowed to be dampened. It is possible when the parents and teachers keep open all sources of communication. In case of some disturbance at home, child should feel relaxed in the class on behalf of the teacher so that his learning abilities are not affected in any way. Parents often keep the secrets of their homes close to their chest. It is however, essential that whenever stress at home, the teacher must be made aware of it.
Otherwise the child is likely to suffer as he would be squeezed between the two. The teachers in these conditions can empathize with them. A Child can be supported and encouraged in these worrying circumstances. Guidance to overcome stress and engaging a child in the happy pursuits of life is all the more essential. The emotional needs of the child must be catered in all situations without which he cannot be able to concentrate on the studies in other affairs of life.
For the effective communication some schools offer parents a school guide or directory that grants information about how to get in touch with the teacher and the best time that suits for the contact. If not, parents ask the teacher or the school major how and when it is possible to contact the teacher.
Excuses should not become a pretext for poor child performance but the roots of the problems should be eradicated for the advantage of the child. As the parent should keep the teachers informed of all activities at home, the teachers must reciprocate the same behavior and inform the parents about the activities of the child in the class room. Whatever is happening in the academic environment must be shared knowledge with the parents. If a child is punished for a lack of academic attitude in front of the whole of the class, the parents can support the kid at home and guide him in coping with the stress and reform the performance.
Parents should remain in touch with the kids too so that they hide nothing from them. Maintaining all channels open between parents and teachers can create the right frame work for the benefits of the children. “Your child will benefit most if you and the teacher work together as partners in your child’s education. Most schools and teachers know that good communication with parents is an important part of their job.
Some parents have had bad experiences when they were at school. Other parents have had bad experiences communicating with their child’s school in the past. Because of this, some parents approach the school with a defensive or angry attitude. However, this can interfere with good communication and does not help the child. It is best to believe that the school and the teacher care about your child. Begin your communication with a positive attitude and a willingness to be a partner with your child’s teacher” (Edwards, 2000).
The parent teacher interaction rests on sound and regular means of communications. Several teachers can be accessed at the school; otherwise other means of communication like online, email or website of schools are the means for communication channels. If the child is endeavoring to cope with work volume at school, or it may also be in the form of interactions with peers, the parents must become proactive and co-ordinate with the teacher to craft a two pronged approach which backs the child to find ways to deal with the problems at home and school.
The parents must be well versed with polices of school and the norms which are particular to the class in which their child is in. The child can have guidance at school and home and thus will be better equipped with encouragement to face the issues confronting him. The child should be told all the canons of discipline of the school in a pleasant manner so that his performance stands improved. Polices of schools should not be designed to protect the schools against legal rights but to provide a supportive environment in which child finds it quite feasible to realize his potential. The manners of interacting with others can be jointly taught by the parents and teachers.
If the children are taught how each and every rule of the school is in his favor, he can greatly take advantage of these rules. He will also cultivate commensurate behaviors to have more reverent for these norms.
Teachers are often sending complaint of the kids; likewise other matters can also be discussed. Parents should keep the communication channels open with teachers and ask them the way they are impacting the character of their child. Regular emails to teachers will persuade them to play positive role in the life of the child. Teacher appreciation day and holidays can be availed to remind them of the goodwill that parents have towards their kids’ teachers.
The activities of the teachers aimed at improving the performance of the kid must be met with applauses and it is the acknowledgment which encourages them to work more efficiently. Support to the teachers is significant in their efforts to train the younger generation along the most feasible lines.
Volunteering is mandatory in building parent teacher relation. Parents should find spare time at least once a month, if possible, to share a field trip with their child’s teacher. The dynamics of the relations of a class are very well revealed in the process.
The characters around the kid and how he is impacted in such situations is well known by dent of such opportunity. In old times, the whole of the village contributed in the upbringing of the children and now it is the network of the parent and teacher which counts. The duos can collaborate to develop the aptitudes of the child in the right direction. It is joint venture and any lopsided approach in this context is counter productive. Teachers must remain open minded as parents may be willing to know more about their lives. Parents may have some bad experiences with earlier teachers and they may be skeptical about the performance of the new ones.
If the teachers are of different race or religious background, the suspicions of the parents are likely to increase. The parents will want the same level of pampering as is being extended to other children who share the same ethno-religious backgrounds with that of teacher. In this situation the communication must remain frequent between teachers and parents and any breakdown may also result in some accident.
Consistency in communication is essential to maintain the enthusiasm of the child in studies and extra-curricular activities. Teachers must listen to the parents and should in no way discourage them to come up with set of suggestions that would be instrumental in finding new pedagogical methods. Developing relations with children takes some time and the patience of teachers and parents is both put to considerable test. Once this is built, the fruits starts coming in and both the parties can enjoy very well. The true beneficiary is the child who attains the maximum advantage out of this joint venture. If the cooperation between them is not present, then the child would be the sufferer as he would be pulled in different directions at home and school.
The teachers can take the initiative at the start of the year by making an information packet which comprises of the philosophy of the education in the classroom and best available time in which they can be accessed. This package should throw light on the classroom norms, schedule, home work rules and information on the course contents and what the teacher expects from the parents. It should also highlight the meet teacher’s page which encourages parents to open communication channels with them.
Reading it may be time taking process but the fruits are definite and the child will surely be able to reap them. All this is a definite way to begin communications with parents but regular notes, newsletters and homework are the other sources of channels to maintain the pace of communication throughout the year. “It is a good idea to attend each open house that the school holds. This is an excellent opportunity for you to meet your child s’ teachers face to face and know who they are. This informal setting allows you to ask general questions about what your child is doing in each class and to meet some of other parents too” ( Wilmshurst & Brue, 2005).
Teachers can also send informational handouts or web blinks for parents for their attention in a month. The parents must also be told what teachers expect from their side in the training program of the child whether it is home work or the ethical orientation of the child. In every sphere of the child’s life the share of both is significant as considerable burden is decreased. Reading logs can also help and when the child reads the parents can sign it as he has read and memorized lessons under their supervision. “A major problem with communication between parents and teachers is the failure of either the parent or the teacher to make the first move.
Teachers have reported that some parents did not take the lead to communicate by phone or in person, even when the school provided opportunities such as open houses, parent-teacher conferences, or meetings.
Similarly, parents feel that problems in communication are due to teachers failing to begin the process of communicating with them. However, good communication is the responsibility of both parents and teachers. As a parent, you should not feel that the teacher should always be the one to make the first contact. You should feel comfortable with starting off the communication with your child’s teacher and that you have the right to do so. This is important when your child has had school problems in the past” (Davis & Downs-Lombardi, 2004).
The parents and teachers can greatly help if they agree on the modalities of upbringing the child both in the class room and the home. The mind of the child is like a blotting paper whatever is taught to him or her is erased but with difficulty. These are the initial years of life which matter a lot.
Parents must know the fundamentals of child psychology and encourage the teachers to know it in a very friendly manner. It has become important that both parents and teachers know the possible orientation of the child’s behavior and if they note any form of discrepancy, take note of it accordingly. The problems and issues of the child can be debated between both the trainers and they can also reach consensus on how to face them. Sensitive issues should also be discussed rather than pushing them under the carpet.
Parents and teachers are two most important and positive role players in the lives of the children. It has been observed by the scholars that they are recipient of the combined influence of both. “Research shows that children do better in school when parents talk often with teachers and become involved in the school. There are number of ways that parents and teachers can communicate with each other, rather than relying on the scheduled parent-teacher conferences.
Close communications between parents and teachers can help the student” (Binkley, 2008). All efforts must be ensured that this role is positive and the subsequent lives of the children stand improved and they take on the challenges of lives with great vision and foresight.
Brinkley,D. ( 2008), “Parent-teacher communication. university of Illinois extension”. Web.
Davis, A. P., Downs-Lombardi,J. (2004). Florida Teachers Certification Examination Professional Education Test. research & Education Assoc.
Edwards, M. C. (2000). Effective parent teacher communication. Center for effective parenting. Web.
Lindberg, J. A., Swick, A. M. (2006). Common-Sense Classroom Management for Elementary School Teachers. Corwin Press.
Wierzbicki, C. (2008), Parent-Teacher Communication Advice from Veteran Teachers. Teacher Vision. Web.
Wilmshurst, L., Brue, A. W. (2005). A Parent’s Guide to Special Education: Insider Advice on How to Navigate the System and Help Your Child Succeed. AMACOM Div American Mgmt Assn.
Elmore, M. (2008). Effective Parent Conferences. Principal Leadership.