Parental Guidance: How to navigate the relationship between your students and their parents

Every experienced teacher knows student progress takes place in, and beyond the classroom. To keep the positive momentum going all year, it is critical for teachers and parents to get on the same page.

Our senior recruiter, Calvin Brown, shared his thoughts on the importance of building parent relationships with The Muse for the article, 5 Common Questions Asked in a Teacher Interview (and How to Answer Them with Ease).

When Calvin begins interview teaching candidates, he immediately thinks of how the students will benefit first.  The students we serve need consistency, and although this structure may start in the classroom, the good behavior needs to be reinforced at home.

“Doing it at school and doing it at home are going to be two things that have to go together.” Building trust with the adults in your students’ lives can often help you build stronger relationships with the students themselves,” says Brown.  

 “I’m looking to see that a candidate will take every opportunity to interact with parents in person. Ultimately, I’m looking for candidates that believe parent collaboration is key to a student’s success, and they will take the time to maintain an ongoing, open conversation,” he adds.

Education requires students, parents, and coordinators to be on the same team. At Alignstaffing, we train our recruiters to look for talent that will thrive on every team they are on.

Here are a few more tips from the rest of our team to create an ongoing, productive dialogue with parents:

  • Put the phone down – meet in person

Meeting with parents or guardians face-to-face is always the best option when it comes to discussing a student’s performance. To start the conversation, schedule in-person meetings before the school year starts. This technique will make sure you are on the same page right off the bat.

Of course, we live in the world of WiFi, so using e-mail or the phone is perfectly fine for quick communication, not serious conversations.

  • Check-in before a student checks out

If a student is failing or has consistent behavior issues, don’t wait.

Chances are likely that a few conversations will turn the negativity around, but parents need to be on board to make it happen. You never know what could be going on in a student’s personal life, so check in with the parents to see if everything is okay. You likely both want your student to succeed, so work together to figure out the best course of action.

If your students are in key developmental years, this also might be an opportunity to see if a student has any learning disabilities that might be affecting their school work. Remember, the sooner you address the problem, the quicker it gets resolved!

  • Build better habits together

There is only so much change that can happen in one school day. Good behaviors and performance strategies must be practiced at home as well. Parents should be aware of all homework assignments and test preparation to ensure continued success.