The Importance of Teacher/Parent Collaboration
There are many ways that parents and teachers can work together to ensure a student's school success.
By Elisa Jackson
Parents want what is best for their child, and teachers want what is best for their students. That's why parent/teacher collaboration is so important. By working together, parents and teachers can provide the best learning environment, both at home and at school, for students.
Lines of Communication
One of the first things to keep in mind is that school situations can affect home life, and vice-versa. If a child doesn't eat breakfast or sleep well, this can affect productivity at school. If a child feels that they don't have any friends at school, or are the victim of bullying, this can spill over into their lives at home. By opening up the lines of communication, parents and teachers can address these types of issues together.
The Importance of Parent Involvement
It's also important for students to know that their parents and teacher are collaborating to ensure their academic success. Homework is one of the ways parents can do this. Homework helps parents get an idea of what their child is doing in school. By looking over their child's work, and helping them when they need extra help, they can ensure that their child does their best. Homework is also a valuable way to reinforce classroom lessons, and parents and teachers need to develop ways to motivate students to want to complete it. A way to do this is to set up a system for holding students accountable, both at home and at school. For example, students can fill out homework charts. They can then be rewarded or praised in both places for their efforts. Stickers, prize box, parties, fun day trips, and movies are all things that both parents and teachers can do to help students want to succeed. Sharing what rewards are being used at home and at school provides a good way to work together as well. If teachers remind students of the reward they will get at home, and the parent reminds them of the school reward, then they will have more incentive to work toward that goal.
Another way teachers and parents can collaborate is by coming up with a growth plan. Whether it is a behavior plan or an academic plan, you can sit down with parents and create mini-goals throughout the year for the student. You target one or two goals for a certain period, whether it's for a week, two weeks, a month, or even a school year. This can be a way that teachers and parents work together. If you both know the goal you are trying to reach, then the student will succeed because it is being reinforced at home and at school.
Working with the parent of a student is always a good idea, instead of just coming up with ideas on your own. Keep in mind that most parents know their child best, and, therefore, by working with them, you have a very good resource to highlight the child’s abilities and behaviors. What follows are more ideas for improving parent/teacher collaboration.
This lesson provides suggestions for student-made special projects to have at school to entice parents to come to parent/teacher night. In this way the lines of communication can be opened.
In this lesson students take books home and work with their parents on reading skills. A reading contract is a way for teachers and parents to work together to improve a child's reading skills.
This fire safety worksheet has students take what they learned at school about fire safety and apply it to their home environment by making a fire safety plan for their home.
This worksheet has a homework chart students can fill out for two weeks, either at home or at school. By using a homework chart parents and teachers can monitor success and reward students for their work.