At Parent Hub we’re always looking to chat about all things Parental Engagement with schools and teachers. This week we sat down with Department Head Helen Tanner and asked her to share some top tips on engaging with parents.
Make contact early…….
Don’t allow issues to build up before contacting a parent. If you have concerns, or if something is happening in the classroom, don’t put off making contact. It can be hard to find the time, but leaving issues to fester will likely result in more time being spent dealing with them at a later date. Highlight potential issues as early as possible before further problems emerge.
The best way to work successfully with parents is by developing regular two way communication with them. If a child’s parent feels comfortable enough to approach you they are far more likely to let you know about things happening at home and to engage more effectively with the learning of their child.
Avoid using terminology and acronyms and remember that a parent might not be as comfortable with the ins and outs of the curriculum as you are. Speak in language that is easily understandable and be clear and concise. For those parents that are keen to delve deeper, point them in the direction of good quality web resources where they can find out more.
Sometimes we can get in the habit of only highlighting the negatives when speaking to parents. It’s easily done when time is so limited, but try to make time to report on the positives too. Let parents know what is working well and what they can build on at home. Celebrate success with visuals, a picture can give an instant snap shop into the classroom and help a parent or guardian feel more connected.
Be cool and stay calm….
Sometimes you may be faced with an unhappy parent. Don’t panic, stay calm and always, always keep your cool. More than likely the parent is frustrated or confused. Try to find out what the root of the problem is and to understand what their concerns or worries are. Once you’ve discovered the issue put a plan in place to work with the parent and avoid the same problem happening again.
Teacher or parent? We’d love to hear your thoughts on what works well when developing home/school relations. Get in touch to share your tips or to ask a your parental engagement question to our team.
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