Building strong relationships with parents and guardians

  • 3 minute read
  • 23 January 2023

One of the most important relationships you will build as a teacher is with the parents and guardians of your students.

We all know that building strong relationships with parents and guardians is crucial to creating an environment where students are supported from all sides.

A positive, functional relationship with the parents of your classroom is going to be the ultimate support for your students. By communicating your students’ needs, support and their abilities, you’re able to create a holistic channel to ensure all your students are being set up for success.

However, this is sometimes easier said than done. It might feel overwhelming to work out your game-plan to build these relationships, or you might have a plan already, but it’s requiring more time than you’d anticipated (or it’s one of the first things to fall to the wayside when the school year gets into full swing).

That’s okay – you’re not alone if the above points feel familiar. 

Building a plan that works

We want to share with you our simple tips for building strong relationships with parents and guardians so they’re positive and supportive communication channels for your students, their parents and guardians and for you.

Step 1: Set your intention with introductions

At the beginning of the school year, set up a time for introductions. This might be through a classroom parents night or a phone call individually. Some points to set you on a path of success:

  • Which channel?
    Confirm which channel would they like to be communicated by or which channel you will predominantly be communicating with them.
  • Lay the land
    Set the tone by sharing what sort of things you’ll be communicating and the frequency of your communication. Additionally, ask the parents and guardians if there are any particular areas they would like updates on.
  • Don’t be available 24/7
    Set up an email auto-responder to let anyone know that you will respond in a timely manner within work hours, however if it is an emergency you will be in touch sooner, or the school reception can be contacted.

Step 2: Regular communication

Build into your workload a regular schedule to be in touch with your classroom parents. Some of our favourite tips for building a positive, regular communication channel:

  • Speak in layman’s terms
    Pedagogical jargon might confuse parents, so we want to speak or explain things in a way that the parents understand. Our goal is to be on the same team and understand where one another is coming from, so we want to approach conversations in a way that is accessible to all parties. This will encourage them to ask suitable questions and understand where they can also support.
  • Listen to their concerns
    Ask your parents and guardians if they have any concerns or if they perceive any gaps in their students’ maths learning. This will both allow them to have an open forum to share perceived worries, while also allowing you to speak to their concerns with proactive strategies to take positive action.
  • Share the wins and opportunities for improvement
    Take the time to regularly write a positive note in each student’s diary, or once a month contact parents to only share a positive observation or update. A good balance of this can be sharing a win and an opportunity for improvement.

Step 3: Connecting with elusive parents and guardians

  • Set the tone and keep it going
    There’s always a couple of parents who are tricky to get a hold of. You may not see their parents very often or need to report many things back home, but still reach out regularly with updates from the classroom about their child and extend that opportunity for them to connect with you if they have any concerns.

Bring it on!

At Maths Pathway, we know a strong communication channel between you, the teacher, and parents and guardians is a key driver in ensuring students are supported to reach their maths true potential.

Building a positive relationship with the parents and guardians of your class can sometimes feel daunting, but taking these proactive, positive steps early in the school year will set you, your students and their parents up for success.

It’s Term 1 and a new slate – you’ve got this.

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Author: Maths Pathway
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