Improve Communication between Parents and Schools

25 Aug

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I am often thinking about parent/school engagement. Many schools do this well. Recently as part of our annual plan I have been thinking about it. Hence, here are some thoughts. As a parent and educator, what can we do, or, what should we remember:

Parents are partners

Parents voice a strong desire to have a important and defined role within the school community, which means they want to be part of an active and ongoing dialogue regarding what is working well or not for students. They want to be part of the place.

Have an Open Door

Parents like to come in for a chat. I find that very often parents ring up or pop in for a yarn.

Make parents feel welcome

It’s not enough to just have ways for parents to get into contact with the education system… they also need to know that they are welcome, and encouraged, to use those means. If there are barriers to parents getting involved in school discussions, real support and resources should be put towards overcoming them. Some other common barriers to parent communication include language and technological literacy so more support in these areas would be extremely beneficial.

Provide parents with support/resources to help their children at school

I try to include links to resources in our newsletters, to help parents. I find primary schools do this especially well. A great way to keep a positive and ongoing connection with parents as well as assist in boosting student learning outcomes, is to provide parents with support and resources they can use to help their children study at home. This will especially help support parents as educational partners and also keep them in the loop on what their children are studying and how well they are grasping the material.

Ethical Dilemmas

http://www.vtaide.com/png/ERIC/Ethical-Leadership.htm

“Real leaders concentrate on doing the right thing, not on doing things right.” That advice from organizational consultants comes as no surprise to school leaders, whose lives are filled with difficult ethical dilemmas. This was my reading in NAPP this week. Well worth reflecting on.

Wise Words

If You Want to Lead, Start Now.

To become a leader, don’t wait for the fancy title or the corner office. Here are three things you can do now, even if someone else is calling the shots:

• Demonstrate your potential. Raise your hand for new initiatives, especially ones that might be visible to those outside your unit. Look for opportunities outside of work, too. You can sit on the board of a local nonprofit or organize a volunteers’ event in your community.

• Support your boss in reaching her goals. Find out what keeps your manager up at night and propose solutions to those problems.

• Find role models. Look for people who have the roles you want and study how they act, communicate, and dress. Identify behaviors that you can emulate while being true to yourself.

Adapted from “Act Like a Leader Before You Are One,” by Amy Gallo.

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