As teachers, we know that parent involvement makes a big difference. Join us as we discuss practical ways to connect with and empower parents, and what to do when they don't seem to want to be involved.
Note: The blog post below is just a short summary of all that was discussed in this episode. Please listen to the full episode for more details and examples!
why we should empower parents
Oftentimes, there is a sense among families that we are exporting the education of our kids to teachers, which is an awesome responsibility for teachers to have to bear. This is never what God intended. Family, church, and education should all play a role in forming a child.
What can we do when parents don’t seem to want to be involved? Ask any teacher- the parents you really need to talk to at parent/teacher conferences don’t attend and the ones you don’t need to talk to are there five minutes early. It’s important to seek connection with all parents. Here's how to do it:
1. Class newsletter
Teachers can proactively keep all parents involved through a classroom newsletter. This isn't a new idea, but a twist on it is that the students can be the ones to create the newsletter showing what they recently accomplished in class. This is also an introduction to journalism for students to practice recording these classroom events. This is strategically empowering the parents with information about what their kids are doing in school to help parents interact with their kids at home.
2. Curriculum night
If parents want to know what their students are studying, this is an opportunity for them to look over the curriculum. This doesn’t need to be school-wide; you could just do it for your classroom. This is a little different than back-to-school night because it could be a few months into school when parents are more familiar with what's happening in the classroom. We are in a time right now where parents are concerned about what schools are teaching. Teachers have the opportunity to be the bridge and empower parents with that information.
3. parent survey
Be brave enough to send out a survey to the parents. Ask questions like, "What’s going well in our classroom? Are there any concerns you have? Any suggestions for me?" Even if teachers are unable to implement some of the suggested changes, parents know they were heard. Teachers will gain valuable information from these surveys.
4. share the positive
Catch the child doing something good and share it with the parents. To add to it, add a sweet picture of the child in the email/message, saying, “Your child is such a blessing because..."
The influence of a teacher
Teachers are the gatekeepers to information about the children that the parents don’t have. Sharing that information is so valuable.
Teachers can also be positive influences on children's home lives. People parent the way they were parented. There are parents who struggle with knowing how to parent, but would do so well with some guidance. Teachers have a great opportunity to partner with churches who teach parenting classes.
Remember, God put you into your classroom for a reason!
the herzog foundation
The Stanley M. Herzog Charitable Foundation’s mission is to catalyze and accelerate the development of quality Christ-centered K-12 education so that families and culture flourish. Find out more about how they help teachers at The Herzog Foundation.
About darrell jones
Rev. Darrell Jones, D.Min., is President of the Stanley M. Herzog Charitable Foundation. Prior to his work at the foundation, Darrell pastored a large church in St. Joseph, MO for over 30 years. You can hear him daily on the "Morning Routine," a daily devotional podcast for parents, educators, and leaders.
Need additional support connecting with parents?
spread the word!
Did you find this post helpful? Clue in your fellow teachers by sharing the post directly (just copy the URL) or by clicking one of the buttons to automatically share on social media.
Pin it for later! ⤵
This article may contain affiliate links. This means that if you purchase a resource after clicking the link, Teach 4 the Heart may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for helping support Teach 4 the Heart in this way.