Teacher parent communication tips
Top tips for effective communication with parents
The benefits of teacher parent communication are not just linked to academic achievement but also to pupils’ personal, social, and emotional development. Clearly then, there is a lot to gain from nurturing the teacher parent relationship. However, especially at secondary school age, doing so requires bridging the gap between school and home.
These efforts pay off substantially though, as effective parental communication can result in increased attendance, improved motivation for learning, and support a love of learning which is vital for academic success.
Not only this but teacher parent communication is just as beneficial for teaching staff, as effective communication can contribute to a more detailed understanding of their pupils. For example, having knowledge of what their home life is like can help staff to understand which pupils have support at home, and which need more support from their teachers as a result.
Understanding parents’ communication needs
A 2021 report showed that 85% of parents want to play an active role in their child’s education. Clearly, there’s no lack of intention on the side of parents – most want to be involved in their child’s education to some degree.
The block between parents and teachers comes more specifically from a lack of opportunity or a lack of clear channels of communication. This is especially prevalent as children reach secondary school age as they no longer need their parents or guardians to pick them up or drop them off, meaning that for many secondary school pupils and their parents, school and home can feel like separate worlds.
The power of accessible and regular communication
As a result, parents are looking for easy ways to be kept in the loop on a regular basis that don’t necessarily involve them being physically present at the school gates.
For example, via a Parent App that provides all the information they need in one place and enables direct and secure teacher parent communication, allowing parents to get the answers they need in a timely manner. Alternatively, using a Homework App allows parents to manage and participate in their child’s home learning, and implementing the use of a Meal Management App enables them to book their child’s meals in advance.
All these tools are designed to make it simple for parents to get involved as often or as little as they would like - without sending endless communications that get lost in their email inboxes or at the bottom of their children’s bags.
The issue with too many communication channels
Another barrier to effective teacher parent communication can be the methods used by schools to engage. For instance, there’s a reason why many schools have left the use of physical letters long behind – because they’re not very effective. They get forgotten about entirely or remembered too late, ripped, smudged and are altogether just too fallible to last long in children’s schoolbags.
As a result, many schools have turned to digital communications, from website updates to text messages and, most commonly, emails. There are several benefits to using multiple channels to communicate with parents, the most important of which is that you’ve got a greater chance of reaching every parent by communicating in a variety of ways.
However, communicating across a variety of channels can also lead to a lot of confusion. We can all relate to that feeling of knowing you’ve seen something somewhere but not knowing where. And when schools are aiming to improve parent teacher communication, sending more messages across multiple channels can lead to overwhelming their parents.
The importance of two-way communication
The crux of really effective teacher parent communication, however, is two-way communication. Why? Because historically the bulk of communication between schools and home has been in that direction – from schools to home. Often about formal matters, this kind of communication left little room for parents to say what they need to and relegated two-way communication to one night of the year.
But Parents’ Evening shouldn’t be the only opportunity for parents to have an open discussion with school staff. Not least because two-communication is pivotal to building a stronger culture and developing trust. That’s why, for schools looking to improve their parent communication for teachers, it’s vital to find ways to open up the channels of communication for parents as well as teachers.
How to facilitate meaningful two-way communication
This is why using a parent communication app like ReachMoreParents can be so powerful – housing everything parents need to see, do, and know under one roof leads to less confusion and greater accessibility. With everything in one place, they can see messages via their app appear instantly (not buried under numerous emails), reply securely, and check for news and information anywhere at any time – enabling schools to engage even the most hard-to-reach parents.
Other ideas for getting parents involved in their children’s education include:
- Having at least one active parent group such as a PTA.
- Including parent representatives in school improvement planning and school committees.
- Using engagement software to conduct polls on decisions such as playground improvements.
- Providing remote options for Parents’ Evenings so more parents can attend.
- Facilitating more opportunities for face to face communication, such as discussion groups.
Engage even the most hard-to-reach parents
At ReachMoreParents by Weduc, we know how important it is to bridge the gap between school and home.
That’s why we offer a range of software all under the umbrella of our ReachMoreParents platform, from our Parent App to our School Dinners App, Homework App, and Parents’ Evening System. We even offer custom branded apps for schools, so you can house all your teacher parent communications in one place.
Our team would love to show you how our software can help you improve your school’s communication with parents. Click here to book a discovery call at a time that suits you, drop us a line via our enquiry form, or give us a call on 01509 221 349.