Topic 4: 3c formula

  • Communication implies two-way communication, parents/guardians should know what happened in school and teachers should know important things about the child.
  • Consistency means to work frequently to resolve problems.
  • Collaboration means collaborative planning with the teacher, involves the need to work together to address a concern, staying focused on finding a solution, making plans that involve support and responsibility, following through on plans and checking back to make sure progress is being made.
  • Use the personal contact
    • Personal contact significantly improves communication compared to the written form of communication.
  • Be warm
    • Both parents when communicating with teachers and teachers when communicating with parents should use welcoming phrases and offer encouragement to one another. When seeing each other in person: smile, shake hands and make eye contact.
  • Develop trust between each other
    • The confidentiality of the conversations conducted should be ensured
  • The communication should be regular
    • Set the pace for the meetings at the beginning of the school year
  • Think about the modalities of communication that fit the best to your parent-teacher relationship (phone calls, meetings, text messages, apps, social media)
  • It is commonly advised to use multiple methods for parent-teacher communication.

Good Communication Advices, Do Not Forget!

  • When developing or implementing a project in school, think about involving parents, who can then be used as advocates for the project
  • When organising an event, spread the word through several means, and spread the experiences from an event through pictures, or social media posts
  • Each project and/ or activity that is organized should be a part of the educational process and connected to the desired outcome
  • Talk about child/ adolescent’s family life
  • Ask for, and value, the opinion of parents outside the formal school structures. Make parents an integral part of the decision-making process

How to Successfully Start the Communication with Parents

How to successfully start the communication with parents

Starts school year by explaining how and when you will stay in touch with them

Never feel pressured to have very important call , or assessment throughout a parent conference or oral communication

Tell parents that they can trust you

Do not make assumptions

Assure parents that you will inform them if you have any considerations in relation to their child

When presenting a priority problem to parents, you should be able to explain what methods you can use to address the problem

Phone calls                       

Emails

Newsletters

Parent-teacher conferences

Notes

Assessment reports

Messages

Various workshops for parents

Home visits

  • If started early during the school year can help establish a positive relationship early
  • Helps build a partnership between parents/ guardians and teachers
  • Communication should be a pleasant experience
  • May be more appropriate for complex issues
  • Do you publish regular newsletters and notes or messages:
    • Weekly or monthly newsletters (frequently is better than infrequently)
  • Newsletters and notes or messages should contain:
    • News, notes, stories, notices, explanations, announcements
  • Newsletters should be:
    • Of uniform colour, paper size
    • Should use the everyday language and
    • Should be grammar and spell check
  • Text messages may be more appropriate for some parents because of their personal preferences for text messaging.
  • Text messages allow the possibility for prompt responses.
  • Text messages can be used for routine information.
  • Emails are easy, widely available, but should not be used when sensitive issues arise
  • When using the email we can expect delayed feedback, decreased non-verbal cues and decreased personal focus
  • Communication by email should be considered in an optimal collaboration between teacher and parents:
    1. Positive communication means messages of encouragement from a teacher to parents
    2. Personalised communication
    3. Proactive communication
    4. Partnership and collaboration between teacher and parents
  • Parent-teacher conferences should be:
    • Scheduled
    • Have a clear purpose in advance
    • With the plan on what information should be discussed
  • For teacher
    • Parent-teacher conferences can help understand the parents’ expectations, beliefs, feelings, get information on children/ adolescents
  • For parents
    • Parent-teacher conferences can help understand the school program and expectations, activities and teaching styles
  • Unfortunately, parent-teacher conferences can provoke anxiety for parents and teachers.
  • To avoid this, teachers can organise the parent-teacher conference as an opportunity to discuss what is working well, report on success to alleviate blame and put the child in the focus.
  • Do not fall into the trap of usual roles of teachers as those who are giving the advice and parents as those who are receiving it. Acknowledge each others’ expertise.
  • Parent-teacher conferences should be organised as a dialogue to assess how school and family can work together
  • Although academic achievement and behaviour must be included,
  • The two-directional communication may facilitate the process.
  • Teachers and parents should show interest and empathy during the parent-teacher conferences, should reflect effect, and should use clarifying statements.
  • Teachers should start with the use of everyday language, a non-threatening tone and appropriate questions.

Good parent-teacher communication is honest and reliable!

  • Workshops for parents:
    • Organised in the times in which parents can be available, and commonly may not have the work obligations (such as early evenings on the weekdays or weekends) can promote parents’ involvement in the educational process and school activities
  • Use the school and school projects to empower parents, especially parents with poor education.
  • Ask which educations are the parents interested in
    • For example, how to recognise the problematic internet use, how to talk about alcohol use or education on how to advise children to use the internet for desirable purposes?