It’s no secret that when there is strong, healthy parent-teacher communication, students reap the rewards. In fact, studies show that parental involvement can lead to students earning higher grades, attending school more regularly, and participating regularly. Studies have also confirmed that strong parent-teacher partnerships foster higher educational aspirations and give rise to more motivated students (Barton, 2003).*
While communicating with parents can feel daunting on top of everything else you have on your plate, these relationships are invaluable for parents, teachers, and students. Here are some tried-and-true strategies on how to communicate with caregivers.
How to Connect with Parents and Caregivers
Keep reading — or download this interactive checklist — for a step-by-step guide to help you open the lines of communication with parent and caregivers from day one.
1. Have you made contact with every caregiver?
Make sure you try to communicate with all caregivers. Keep a contact log with updated address, emails, and phone number to track your outreach.
2. Have you done a general check-in?
Use a Google form to get an overview of the child. For families without internet, you can do this by snail mail, text message, or a phone call.
3. Have you kept it simple?
As much as possible, keep your communication simple, organized, and encouraging — and on a regular schedule.
4. Are you accessible for families?
Let families know upfront that you’re ready for feedback and communication. If English is not their first language, try to ensure they receive translated instructions.
5. Have your set your office hours?
You can’t be available 24/7 — nor should you try to be. Make it clear to parents when you have “office hours” and are readily available.
6. Have you shared an “about me” video or letter?
Create a short “all about me” video or letter to send to families or caregivers. Whichever you choose, keep it short and sweet.
7. Are you ready to get creative?
Once you’ve tackled a basic foundation of communication, get creative. Maybe you can create a quick, fun weekly newsletter or an online “meet the teacher” call.
* Barton, P. E. (2003). Parsing the Achievement Gap: Baselines for Tracking Progress. Princeton, NJ: Policy Information Report, Educational Testing Service.