Why working with parents and carers matters
For a pupil to succeed in school, there needs to be a strong relationship and partnership between teachers and parents/carers. This short guide explains some reasons why you need to work to develop this.
Both parents and teachers have an important role to play; their roles do not replace but rather complement and reinforce the other’s role, thus providing the student with a consistent message about reading and learning. Thinking of parents and teachers as “partners” refers to this mutual effort toward a shared goal. It also implies shared responsibility of parents and teachers for supporting students as learners.
When it comes to expectations both parents/ carers and you as teachers have them. Parents/ carers expect teachers to create an environment where their children feel supported to learn, develop and maintain friendships, and achieve their potential.
Teachers and parents/ carers will have shared expectations too, of their child’s academic achievement, attendance and behaviour in school, and at home. When parents/ carers and teachers work together there is a synergy, and this can have a powerful effect on the child’s learning outcomes.
Both parents/ carers and teachers should have one common goal, the success of each child. It is important not to work on assumptions but to take time to understand one another’s expectations.
At this point, communication is key. If both the teacher and parents/ carers are clear about expectations, they will each better understand their role in the parent/ carer- teacher relationship and know how to be supportive within it.
The saying goes “Communication is a two-way street”- have you crossed that street?
A child’s academic achievement can not be achieved by school alone. A child’s interest and engagement in education is influenced by parental messages. Working in partnership with parents/carers will enhance the support a child receives; address any obstacles the child faces quickly and generate better long-term outcomes for the child’s achievement.
Ensure you communicate your expectations with parents/ carers and give them time to share theirs. Regular communication is key, and it is important to revisit expectations with each other to ensure they are being met. It is important to keep your assumptions and perceptions out of the relationship, ensuring there is always respect and any communication focuses on the child and how to support their progression and achievement.
Developing and maintaining a good working relationships with parents/ carers is an investment and one that will play an important role in the child’s success at school. Poor teacher/ parent relationships can result in parents feeling isolated, not listened to and unsupportive of your expectations and goals. It is essential to plan how your school communicates with parents/ carers from the point of a child registering at your school through to their child leaving.