How to Partner with Parents during Distance Learning
by Brianna Richard, on Mar 24, 2021 3:25:10 PM
Parents and educators are on the same team. We all have a common goal and it is for our students to succeed! The relationship between educators and parents needs to be stronger now more than ever. While parents have every intention of wanting to help, sometimes they may not know where to start. And while teachers have every intention of including parents, they may not know where to start either. So for both the teachers and the students’ parents, where do we begin?
When trying to partner with parents the best place to start is a simple conversation. These conversations can happen at every level. Principals can have monthly morning meetings with parents, inviting them to share concerns or suggestions. Teachers can have specific office hours where parents are invited to drop in and work together as a united front. Parent groups and school advisory boards can also meet to discuss how they can support the school staff. A community-based approach to education begins with a conversation that everyone can and should be apart of!
In addition to talking about things, schools need to have a vision as well as a plan. In a conversation with "Cool Cat Teacher" Vicki Davis, the award-winning educator JT Taylor said the vision needs to be clear and explicit. Parents need to know that the school is there to help support them. Simply telling parents, “we support you!” makes a world of difference. The vision for the school shouldn’t be crafted by just one person. The school administration, teachers, parents, and students should all be included in its creation. The vision should be flexible while evolving throughout the school year to meet the needs of everyone in the community. Several contingency plans should also be thought of when creating the vision in case an unforeseen event occurs.
While we all may be tired at this point in the school year, let us all not forget why we wanted to work in education in the first place. After reflecting on our, “why” it may give us the inspiration we need to finish the rest of the school year strong. Keep in mind that it is never too late to partner with parents. Together, we can make the best of school amidst a pandemic and help our students to succeed.