When parents and teachers have open lines of communication students excel. The purpose of this discussion was to focus on my experiences related to parent/teacher communication in my preschool setting. The discussion suggests that parent-teacher communication is a major part of ensuring that my students are able to excel academically. The discussion also found that it is important to establish the lines of communication in the beginning of the school year. Parents want to know what their students are accomplishing and how to further assists their students to master the appropriate skills. The discussion found that there are several different modes of communication including parent-teacher conferences, reports, internet technology and parent-teacher contracts. These different forms of Communication serve distinct purposes and can be beneficial when properly utilized. Parent conferences are among the oldest types of parent-teacher communication but there have been different approaches associated with conferences. My approach embraces the values presented by CORE. This particular approach is different than traditional approaches to conferences because it really attempts to encourage parental involvement. In recent years the use of technology including the internet has greatly changed the manner in which parents and teachers communicate with one another. Advantages in technology allow parents to review grades, comments made by teachers, absences and so forth. All of these forms of communication serve distinct purposes and can be beneficial when properly utilized. The personal experiences reflect the overall ark of this discussion which asserts that teacher-parent communication is essential and should be taken seriously for the benefit of children.
Parent teacher communication is important to the academic success of any child regardless of age (Wayne & Youngs, 2003). When parents and teachers have open lines of communication students excel. The purpose of this discussion is to focus on my experiences related to parent/teacher communication in my preschool setting. The discussion will contain research related to the benefits of proper parent/teacher communication. The discussion will also provide caveats into my personal experiences as a teacher and the manner in which I communicated with parents concerning their children.
It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge."
My occupation as a teacher has afforded me the opportunity to shape the minds and lives of the many young people entrusted to me. Teaching can be a challenge in many ways because it demands a great deal of time, patience and energy. In addition, it takes years to realize the true impact that I've had on the life of a youngster.
Teachers are special people. We get up early to go over our lesson plans for the day. We go to bed late because we often have a great deal of work to do after school hours are over. In addition, we often have the added responsibility to buy supplies for our classrooms and even our students. Although my income and the incomes of teachers throughout the nation are extremely low, still many choose the profession even when they have the opportunity to work in the private sector.
This is an example of that love that teachers have for the occupation. Although there are many challenges that teachers face. It is important to remember that behind every successful man or woman, there was at least one great teacher who encouraged that man or woman to do their best. In addition, there were parents who made a concerted effort to ensure that they communicated with teachers via phone calls and parent/teacher conferences.
In my own career as a preschool teacher I have witnessed the impact that parents have on their children's ability and even will to learn. In addition, I have seen how my influence as a teacher has led to the growth and development of my students. I have come to understand my own power to shape and form the minds of my students through teaching. It is indeed an art and quite a noble profession.
The importance of Parent/Teacher communication
"I am sending you my most precious possession today,
Trusting in your care what to do and say,
Be gentle and loving and encourage him too,
I'm trusting in you to know what to do,
Show him things and let him draw,
So he'll remember the things he saw,
Let him jump and run and play,
He'll tell us all about his day,
Let him do things on his own too,
But please help him when he looks to you,
Give him a hug and smile alot,
Memories of you will never be forgot. (Davis, n.d.)"
As a teacher I understand the important role of parent/teacher communication all to well. It is important to have open lines of communication with parents so that they are aware of the general progress that their child is making or any problems that might be present (Driessen et al., 2005; Boethel, 2005). The latter is particularly true in preschool students because it is important to identify learning problems as early as possible. Early detection of such issues allows for early intervention so that the problem can be resolved or properly managed.
Communication with parents is also important to secure the future academic success of the student. According to an article entitled "Evaluating Evaluations: The Case of Parent Involvement Programs" parental involvement and communication with teachers is extremely important to the well being of children as it pertains to their academic and social success. The article explains,
Through the last three decades there has been an emerging consensus that the quality of relations between schools and families plays an integral role in student success. Parent involvement in children's education has been emphasized as a particularly important aspect of the school-family relationship, with significant implications for children's education. Numerous studies show that parent involvement is correlated with higher student academic achievement, better student attendance, and more positive student and parent attitudes toward education (Mattingly et al. 2002, 549)."
The authors further report that efforts to augment the involvement of parents in the academic careers of their children can even be seen in federal and state education strategies (Mattingly et al. 2002). For instance the author points out that at the national level, efforts to improve parental involvement in schools has received support from republicans and democrats in all efforts to reform education through the legislative process. In fact in 2001, parental involvement became a significant part of the No Child Left Behind Act (Mattingly et al., 2002 549). In addition the author reports that "Rhetorical support has been supplemented with financial support; schools receiving Title I funding are required to spend part of that money on parent participation programs (Mattingly et al., 2002 549)."
As a preschool teacher I understand full well the importance of parental involvement and as such I make a concerted effort to establish communication with parents at the beginning of each school year. This is done through contact forms that are sent home with students on the first day of class. Parents are asked to complete the forms and send them back within the first week of school. These forms request information such as telephone numbers, and email addresses. This type of contact allows me to contact parents to discuss the progress of their children and any concerns that I may have for the student.
Once contact information is received, I contact parent via phone.
This usually occurs during the second week of school. Initial phone conversations with parents usually entail me making sure that they know that the education of their child will be a collaborative effort. I also try to emphasize the idea that I am always available to speak with them concerning their children. I also review some of the skills that their children will learn throughout the course of the year.
This initial conversation also allows the parent to voice any concerns or tell me about the likes and dislikes of their children. This is helpful because it allows me to make the learning environment more conducive to meeting the needs of each students. This initial contact also allows parents to warn me of any habits that their students have that I might find disturbing or just strange. This has been extremely helpful in some cases. For instance, one year I had a student who had an ear fetish. He liked to rub people's earlobes, especially when he was sleepy. He would rub any earlobe he could get a hold of but because the parents warned of this habit, I was able to work with the parents to stop this behavior.
In addition to phone calls parent-teacher conferences are also utilized as a way to communicate with parents. An article entitled "Restructuring Routine Parent-Teacher Conferences: The Family-School Conference Model Author" explains that Parent-Teacher conferences are a traditional form of communication between teachers and parents. The article explains that Routine parent-teacher conferences (i.e., ones regularly scheduled for most or all students throughout the school year) are "probably the…