The Teacher-Student-Parent Connection

Close communication and trust between student, teacher, and parent are always important. This year, however, this trust is more important than ever. As students readjust to school, they need to know that everyone in their educational life is on the same team. When there is a strong connection between home and school, it increases the likelihood that students will develop positive feelings about school, and prevents feelings like anxiety or depression. Students’ motivation, performance, and mental wellness improve. And it all starts with a close and positive relationship between the teacher and the parent.

Keep Each Other in the Loop

It’s impossible for every parent to be kept in the loop about every single thing that happens throughout the day. Conversely, there’s no way to keep your child’s teacher updated on every single detail of what’s going on at home. That would be exhausting for both of you! Still, it’s important that you are filling each other in on the big stuff. If you have created a chart at home to keep your child organized and on track, let her teacher know! Send a picture of the chart and briefly explain why you started it and how it’s helping. Information like this is so important for teachers to know!

Similarly, teachers should be telling parents about whatever is going on in school that specifically involves their child. For example, if a student in your class has just started an incentive system to help increase his or her motivation or improve behavior, their parents should definitely know about it. For younger students, it can be helpful to have some sort of daily report of how it went—nothing complicated, just a sticky note or slip of paper with check marks, tallies, or some other quick system for reporting to parents how their child did that day. 

Bringing the Student into the Fold

While it’s important for parents and teachers to know what is going on in school and at home respectively, the main reason to establish these connections is for the student. When students see that there is close and consistent communication between their teacher and parent, it sends two messages. The first is that you both care enough to have formed a partnership in which your main goal is to help them succeed. Secondly, it adds an element of accountability. It tells them that they won’t get away with doing less than their best, or all of the caring adults in their life will work together to intervene.

In your pursuit to build a collaborative partnership, don’t forget who it’s all about. Your shared goal is success for the student. Of course there will be topics and conversations that you don’t want them to be a part of, especially with younger students. But it’s important to include them in the communication as much as possible. For older students, this should be virtually all the time. It not only shows them that you care, but that you want them to be involved in the conversations about their education. It empowers them and helps them build independence by allowing them to be part of those important discussions and decisions.

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