Characteristics of Successful Partnerships Create a family-like school Welcome all families Develop a personal relationship with parents Use multiple forms of communication Provide specific information to parents Give parents positive feedback Active listening- listen and respect parents input and opinion Demonstrate commitment-ongoing communication Create an equal partnership
The Essential Question: What Roles Do Parents Play In Education? Within the Montgomery Township School District parents have the opportunity to play 3 specific roles in the involvement of their child’s education. Communication Participation Governance
First Role- Communication Is the continuous dialogue between parents, teachers, and administrators. Communication is where the school to home connection is made. Where parents and teachers can help one another better understand the student and help that student to be successful.
Second Role- Participation When parents have the opportunity to have direct involvement in the school’s day to day activities. This can be through volunteer activities both within the child’s classroom and throughout the school.
Third Role-Governance The opportunity to be involved in more structured groups where the voice of parents is desired. Parents are invited to share their voice on school programs, practices and decision making.
How Do We Currently Involve Parents? Let’s take a look at what programs we currently have established within our district that focus on these areas. Communication: Bi-Weekly teacher newsletters Monthly school communication from administrators District and school websites Home Visits Parent-Teacher Conferences Email/phone calls Participation: Helping Hands-within teacher classrooms Recess Duty Supervisors Daily library clerks School wide presentations Assessment supporters IEP process Governance Special Education Parent Teacher Association and PTA’s Principal’s Round Table Parent-Teacher Advisory Council Parent Representatives for curriculum committees
What makes a good teacher communicator? A teacher who takes the time to get to know and understand the whole child. Views home/school relationship as vital to student’s success. Has a sense and interest in the whole child: – Home life, family members, pets, likes and dislikes – Out of school activities, interests and hobbies Is aware of: – Students learning style: strengths/weaknesses, necessary modifications – IEP if applicable – Behavior triggers – Behavior modification strategies that are used at home
What makes a good teacher communicator? Provide REGULAR Communications with DETAILED information Parents need to know how to help their child be successful at school, and how to best help their child at home. –Students who learn and behave differently are not always the best communicators, organizers or have the best memories –Keep websites and Parent Resources up to date with detailed information about assignments so parents can get assignment information/notes without having to contact the teacher –Let parents know if a student is slipping in some area – i.e., major assignments missing/incomplete before it is too late –Let parents know if there are behavioral issues in the classroom that you and he/she can work out together –Parents need to know the school rules and class boundaries and consequences so they can help reinforce at home
What makes a good teacher communicator ? Try to understand Parents of Children who learn and behave differently: –Parents want to hear from their child’s teachers, but be sensitive. –Student may have behavioral, medical, learning and emotional issues…therefore….the parent May be hyper sensitive to your tone of voice and choice of words Need to hear the positives as well as the negatives. They might be used to everyone pointing out what is wrong with their child vs. what is right with their child
What makes a good teacher communicator? Knowing WHEN and HOW to communicate: –Thinks twice about timing and content Example 1: Emails are great but very black and white. They can often be misread and misunderstood. Example 2: A call on a Friday afternoon often leads to frustration and worry. All phone calls should always be returned. –Teachers should try to understand parental work situations and avoid communicating at work unless it is very important –Let parents know when and how to reach you.
What makes a good teacher communicator? A teacher who makes it easy for the parent to share sensitive and personal information A teacher who can build trust, integrity and understanding and who can build a professional and caring relationship A teacher who is approachable – not judgmental –Maybe with a smile and sense of confidentiality A teacher who addresses problems early – does not let them fester
What makes a good parent communicator? Home Life –Views home / school relationship as vital to the child’s success –Sees teacher as having a MAJOR role in their child's life –Informs the teacher of the whole child Shares sensitive and confidential information. (Behavior, emotional, medical, physical, changes in the household, siblings, trips and major events) Tip: if your child isn’t sleeping or eating well or if dad is away…this might effect the child's behavior during school…so PLEASE ….let the teacher know
What makes a good parent communicator? Communication –Makes time for the teacher – understands that their child is one of many…immediate attention is not always possible –Avoids unnecessary communication Send in timely paperwork, attend school events, home work, etc. –Acknowledges that the parent is the expert resource for their child but listens to comments of the teacher and other school professionals with open minds –Inform your teachers of the best communication methods –Try not to compare previous teachers but mention strategies that have worked in the past –Speak directly with the teacher before going up the chain –DO NOT Call at teacher at home –DO NOT use Back To School Nights or trips as conferences
What makes a good parent communicator? Tips: –Build a strong TEAM for your child View the teacher and school professionals as part of your child's TEAM –Remember we are all on the same side. Do not show up outside the class room before or after school unless invited –Keep an open mind Be open to new ideas or new ways of doing things –Acknowledge, understand, accept your child's issues Learn to celebrate them, remove the guilt and blame –Teachers are teachers and parents are parents Do not expect each other to fill each other’s role
What makes a good parent/teacher communicator? “If you promise not to believe all your child says to me, I promise not to believe all they say about you “
Why develop stronger parent/teacher relationships? We will now use a forest metaphor to explain the importance of school-community-and family partnerships, and its effect on student learning. Taken from http://www.nwrel.org/partnerships/about/metaphor.pdf
Youth Success Requires a Healthy Ecosystem Taken from http://www.nwrel.org/partnerships/about/metaphor.pdf
Youth Taken from http://www.nwrel.org/partnerships/about/metaphor.pdf
Family Taken from http://www.nwrel.org/partnerships/about/metaphor.pdf
Community Taken from http://www.nwrel.org/partnerships/about/metaphor.pdf
School Taken from http://www.nwrel.org/partnerships/about/metaphor.pdf
Youth in Isolation Taken from http://www.nwrel.org/partnerships/about/metaphor.pdf
Youth Within a School-Family-Community Partnership Taken from http://www.nwrel.org/partnerships/about/metaphor.pdf