You can welcome parents and guardians as partners by creating conditions where parents can assume roles as advisors, collaborators and supporters. In these meaningful roles, parents are not mere spectators – they are active participants in the teaching- learning process. Trust, respect and honesty are necessary conditions for parent/guardian-teacher relationships to flourish.
Enlisting the assistance of them is an important strategy to employ. Very few object to a teacher approaching them with an idea that might help their child if the idea shows the teacher’s commitment to the success of that child. Consider them as part of the support for a mutually agreed upon solution to discipline problems.
Meet the teacher night
The first formal introduction to guardians and parents will usually be in the form of a “Meet the Teacher” activity. This may have different names, but usually it is a time to introduce yourself and your curriculum.
Be prepared to instill confidence regarding your instructional abilities. Talk about your relevant experiences (camp counsellor, club sponsor, etc.). Let your enthusiasm show.
This is a good opportunity for you to identify how home and school can work together. Inform parents of when, where and how you can be reached and discuss how guardians and parents can best support their child’s learning out of school.
Successful parent-teacher conferences provide a balance of teacher-talk and listening, as well as positive comments and suggestions for improvement. When you discuss a problem, be truthful, sincere and objective. They will respect your integrity.
It is helpful for you to recognize and validate guardians and parents as the student’s primary teachers. Thus, offer plenty of opportunities for questions and observations. Remain focused and reiterate that you and they have a responsibility to work together for the sake of the student.