Parent Communication Part 3: Value Your Parents Expertise

As I mentioned in my last post, building a community is a great way to have edifying communication. You want to have a relationship with your students’ parents because eventually, inevitably you are going to have a conversation that is not all sunshine and butterflies.

When you need to talk to parents about their child, whether it be about academia or behavior trends they are showcasing, always start by valuing their expertise. The parents have known this child since they were born, they’ve been raising them. And often (always) they get defensive when issues come to the table. Think about it. Do you enjoy hearing about your flaws? It is NEVER easy hearing something negative about your child.

Before anything becomes a big issue I will email parents and share that I have been noticing certain behavior patterns. A child showing defiance, or playing rough with classmates, or having issues focusing, are usually things I will email about rather quickly.  After sharing something positive about the school day, and then sharing what I have been seeing, I ask  the parents/guardians if they’ve ever noticed this at home and if so, do they have any advice for me. I want to make sure my parents know that I value what they know about their child, and also if they have notice patterns at home, maybe they have a system that works that I can implement at school. You never know unless you ask. This opens up conversation to hearing if other things happening in a child’s life factor into their school life (as it almost always does).

If the issue is sensitive or dangerous and I am unsure about how to word it, I will call the parents. I also call parents if their child is involved in something and it was not their fault, or something happened to them. Tone can come across so different on email, as I am sure we are all aware of. If it is a repeated behavior and I don’t have time to call, I try to have a colleague look over my email. A second pair of eyes is your best friend. Use your team! They most likely know the student as well and can be very, very helpful.

In the end, the more you can build a positive relationship with your parents, the better you’ll be able to teach their child.

My last post on parent communication coming up next… Part 4: Take Notes!

I really don’t know what I would do without parenthesis. I just love them so much.


Learn for Free from Stanford

I stumbled upon this link on FB the other day and knew I had to sign up. I’ve never taken an online class before, but this one is free and is sponsored by Stanford University. After reading more about it, I was immediately drawn into the course. This online course is open to all and will compose of final project where you and your team members will create a new learning model to cater 21st century learners and environments. It’s intriguing to think about creating a completely new model. Instead of complaining about our school systems, it’s time to find a solution to the problem.

I’ve always wanted to start my own school that would think outside of the box and revolutionize education.  So, here I am,  signed up, and not sure what this really means. It says the workload is only 4 hours a week. I hope I’m not in over my head. Class starts on October 15th.  Why don’t you join me and sign up as well? Maybe we could even form a team together.  🙂
You can sign up on the website:

Designing a new learning environment:

Plus, there are other free courses available, if you are feeling super ambitious!