Communicating With Parents

Communication comes in different forms. The way you communicate with your parents can determine whether your students and you, have a successful Early Childhood experience.
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Your only communication with a parent shouldn’t be negative. Although it is important to inform parents how their child’s day went, it is also important not to fill each meeting with a negative comment about something that their child did, or did not do.

Here is my take on this, and a philosophy of mine. I know my students and their personalities. So I know who the hitters, good listeners and active students are. Before I talked to a parent about their child, I take those traits into consideration. If I have a student that hits, but I am able to redirect him. I do not approach the parent everyday with that information, I will only give the information when asked. 

I know this student would hit, they did it every day, but I didn’t see the need in telling the parent each day. If it was something that we were working on, I thought it was important to give the student time to improve before telling the parent again.

 I also took the initiative to find out when the student hit most, so that I could share that information with the parent and let him or her know what I did to improve the situation.

However, I do feel that excess hitting should be documented and  taken to the director for review. 

The worse way to communicate unacceptable behavior to a parent is by using the parent communication forms. Writing can be interpret in different ways, and although you might intend it one way, the parent might interpret it in a different way.

A great communication technique is to keep the parents involved in their child’s education.  Involve them in the theme you are working on, have them come in for story time or volunteer for class parties. This allows them to feel more comfortable around you, and you them, making communication easier.

Take Parent/Teacher Conferences seriously, they are important. Keep good records along with anecdotal notes, pictures and artwork. 

Prepare your classroom for Open House, this gives your students an opportunity to show their parents what they are doing and it gets the parents engaged. It also opens the parents up to communicating with you.

Above all, treat parents how you would like to be treated as a parent, even if you are not one yet. We all know what we want for our children even before we have them. Try to understand each parent’s individual suggestions and in some cases demands.

On a different note:  Stay professional; I understand this can be difficult when you meet a parent that you connect with. But remember you are there to educate their children not make friends. If this does happen, keep your work environment, other staff members, parents,  other students and management out of your conversations.

Below is a form to help you document when behavior is happening. Once you document it, then you can work on specific times and with what child the behavior is happening with. This form will help you be proactive instead of reactive. It will also give you information to use, with talking with the parent.

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