Teacher Guide to
Parent-teacher communication provide an opportunity for you to share with families how their child is progressing at school and learn more about the student and how to support them at school. They are also opportunities to partner with a student’s family to identify strengths and areas where support may be needed, share strategies that have been effective at home or school, and to identify ways in which you can work together to create consistency across home and school.
The following tips can provide a prompt or support for you in preparation for meeting with a student’s parent/caregiver:
1. Be ready
Write down any areas you specifically want to talk about beforehand, and bring this list to the conversation.
2. Encourage active participation
Parent-teacher communication provides an opportunity for partnership. Sometimes parents may assume more of a listening role when speaking with their child’s teacher. Providing an outline of what the parent-teacher conversation involves and explicitly outlining it as an opportunity for collaboration may help. Encourage active participation and problem solving through asking parents to share their perspectives, concerns and experiences. Remember, a parent knows their child best!
3. Start with the positive
Discuss the child’s strengths first. Share with the parent any strengths you feel are relevant, and ask the parent what strengths they have identified. Access AllPlay Learn’s Strengths and abilities communication checklist for a list of some possible student strengths. You may complete this together with families.
4. Discuss areas where support may be needed
This is an opportunity for you and the parent to share areas where the student could benefit from support and set goals accordingly. The parent may have identified opportunities for support that you were not aware of, and vice versa. It may be important to work together to explore what the priorities may be, and to share strategies that may be effective. Strategies that draw on the student’s strengths may be most effective - access AllPlay Learn’s inclusive questions for a guide to drawing on student strengths.
5. Discuss ways in which you can create consistency across home and school
You may wish to discuss ways in which a parent can support their child’s education at home, such as setting up a homework routine, or through ongoing communication. Similarly, a parent may have routines or strategies that their child uses at home that you can support them with at school. Partnering with each other can create consistency and stability for a student.