Effective Teacher-Parent Collaborations
forming effective partnerships with parents, teachers can get a boost
in helping their students to succeed. This article provides three essential
strategies for making these collaborations work.
Parents Want Your Help
Parents want their children to succeed in school. They want them to behave
in class, to do their homework, and to benefit from the knowledge that
a good education gives them.
for the most part, they trust that teachers can help them achieve this.
In a study of over 1200 parents of K-12 students conducted by Public Agenda,
90% believed that teachers knew how to motivate kids and help them to
do their best(1
today's parents, however, their own role in their child's success is far
Parental involvement in education used to mean organizing bake sales and
attending PTA meetings. Teacher-parent communications were usually limited
to report cards and two conferences a year. Today, both parents and teachers
have come to expect more from their interactions with each other.
involved parents want more say in what happens in the classroom. They
desire more information about their children's curriculum and occasionally
real decision-making power.
usually welcome parents who take an interest in their child's education.
They know the difference a caring and attentive parent can make in a child's
life and academic career.
the form and scope of parental involvement in schools can involve sophisticated
arrangements involving administrators and public forums, the good, old-fashioned
one-to-one communication that occurs between teachers and parents is still
the key to improving student performance.
channels of communication foster understanding, caring and collaboration
between the classroom and home. It also is our best hope for increasing
support for our educational institutions.
Making Interaction Count-
It's Quality, Not Quantity, That Makes the Difference
Recent research from the Mid-Atlantic
Regional Laboratory for Student Success at Temple University has shown
that it is the quality of teacher-parent interaction that contributes
most to student achievement. The researchers recommend using the following
strategies to improve interactions with parents:
Research has shown that teachers communicate with parents most often
when the child misbehaves. It is important to also let parents know
what their child is doing well. This actually helps parents be more
responsive to those areas where their child needs work.
Give parents resources to understand the curriculum. Then be specific
about where students are having trouble. Make specific suggestions about
what parents can do to help their child overcome the difficulties they
are having with schoolwork.
Although there is not a lot of time to write personal messages for every
student in your class, collaboration between parents and teachers is
raised when parents read something personal about their own child. Try
to include personalized messages to parents whenever possible.
clear that parents and teachers have the same end goal in mind when it comes
to their students. Armed with a few strategies and an understanding of what
parents need, teachers can help parents become better partners in their
Read More About Parental Involvement
Education Week, August 16,1999.
This article provides an overview of the changing state of parental involvement
in the schools. It is accompanied by a list of relevant links within the
This Web site presents detailed research conducted by
Public Agenda about parental involvement in schools. The research reveals
interesting differences that exist between what parents and teachers believe
about parental involvement.
Seven P's of School-Family Partnerships
Education Week, February 3,1999
This thorough article provides detailed strategies for improving the parent
teacher relationship. Authors Evanthia N. Patrikakou and Roger P. Weissberg,
both psychologists from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Laboratory for Student
Success at Temple University in Philadelphia, base the suggestions on
the extensive research they've conducted on this issue.
Clearinghouse for Mathematics and Science (ENC)
This section of ENC's comprehensive site offers several articles and interviews
with teachers and parents about getting families involved in their children's