Building positive parent relationships is something that I have struggled with. This is not because I don’t want a positive relationship, but rather it’s been hard for me.
When I first started teaching, I was moved to a different school within 2 months. We simply didn’t have enough kids and the other school (now my current school) didn’t have enough teachers. I was upset and scared but it was nothing compared to the feeling of the parents not wanting you as their child’s teacher. We had a “meet the teacher” afternoon the day before I started teaching at the new school and the first thing a parent said to me was: “How do I get my child out of your class?” I wanted to cry right then and there. I had just moved schools and set up my entire classroom in a matter of 3 days and this was one of the first things I heard. Throughout that year I was constantly being compared to the previous teachers by multiple parents. I felt like I was horrible at making parent relationships. Being a shy person this really put a damper on my confidence level and ability to build relationships with parents.
Since then, I have learned and constantly try my best to build those parent relationships. This will always be a growing process and change throughout the years but I just wanted to share a few ways I now build positive relationship with parents!
Yep. This is the only thing I have on this list. Communication. Parents just want to know what and how their child is doing. If you’re a parent you know that sometimes you can ask a child how their day was and they will tell you a whole story. Other days you ask and their answer will be: “nothing.” But of course, they didn’t do nothing all day! I’m going to be sharing some different ways you can consistently keep in contact with your parents!
There’s a reason why teacher’s have been sending newsletters for so long! This is a great way to communicate with parents about the academic things in the classroom as well as events and such in the school. Personally, I send mine every week but this can also be done every other week or monthly. I send my newsletters electronically through email and also post it my teacher web page. I like to have a little blurb about our week and also include our objectives and events of the week. I typically keep it simple and straight to the point so that ALL parents can read through it. Example newsletter:
3. Remind 101 (or similar apps)
We are living in the age of technology. We have our phones on us all day and typically check it all day. I love using Remind 101 to send my parents reminders and pictures. This is a messaging app that hides your phone number as well as the parents’ phone numbers. You are able to message each other through this app without giving out any numbers. If a parent doesn’t have a smart phone they can also sign up through email. There is a character limit when using this app so this is great for short reminders. This is great because the parent gets a notification right on their phone! I love using this app to remind parents about library days, spirit nights, picture day and other events at school. This is also a great app to send pictures! Parents LOVE to know what their child is doing all day and I love to send pictures when we have dress up days!
4. Positive Phone calls
As teachers, sometimes we only make phone calls about behavior. This is not because we only want to talk to parents about behaviors but we might not always have the time or think of making a phone call when something positive happens. I think it is such a treat to make a positive phone call. When a parent gets a phone call from the school they always expect the absolute worse. That is not something we should push! I try to making positive phone calls so that parents don’t always have that assumption.
5. Positive notes/letters home!
I love going “old school” and send handwritten notes home! I prefer this to phone calls but that’s just cause I don’t ever like talking on the phone to anyone! haha Personally, I love receiving handwritten notes and I think this just puts a little something extra. My students are always so excited when they get a positive note home! It is something simple that still shows you care. This also gives me an excuse to use cute notes! I love to print notes and have them on hand to fill out! You never know when you want to send a note home! I have uploaded some templates that I use in my classroom on my tpt:
Lastly, I have a tip. Something that I had to remind myself. Don’t treat a student differently because of their parents. Some parents will be difficult no matter how much you try. We have to remember to separate the student from their parents.
How do you build those positive relationships?? I would LOVE to know!