Reach Every Parent / Sep 07, 2022

6 Ways to Engage Your Parents from Day 1

Parent Involvement Blog

Studies show that parent involvement is one of the best indicators of student success, but getting every parent involved isn’t quite as simple as it sounds. Lucky for you, we’ve got a few tips to help you get started with getting those parents invested as your education partners.

TL;DR

  • Involved parents mean better student behavior and more help for your classroom
  • Parents are your best source of information about their students so send that parent survey!
  • Parent support can transform your school and take some of the burden off educators
  • Getting parents involved doesn’t have to be time consuming
  • Tip #1: Communicate early and often
  • Tip #2: Use a tech tool that allows multiple communication options with a low time investment
  • Tip #3: Let parents know what you are learning about in your classroom
  • Tip #4: A parent who feels welcome is more likely to be involved
  • Getting parents involved takes a little bit of time, but will make your school year MUCH easier

Why Parent Relationships are Key

There are many reasons to invite parents into your classroom as stakeholders in their child’s education. Let’s start with the simple fact that parents know their children better than anyone.

Parent Involvement

 

Behavior issues decrease with parent involvement

Involved parents can help your classroom in multiple ways. The most important of these is that a child with an active parent will behave much differently than one with a parent who isn’t. Why? That child knows that if they act up in class, you will reach out to their parent to let them know. Most kids are not going to want to explain to their parent why they were disrespectful in class.

Student achievement increases with parent involvement

Parents are your BEST source of information about their child. They know their strengths and weaknesses and what might trigger them. A great way to learn about students while building relationships with parents is through a student survey or conversations at meet the teacher night. Being asked about their child makes them feel like you care and gets them involved while helping you to learn more about that child.

School success increases with parent involvement

Involved parents will show up to your class events and are more likely to contribute when they can. That could look like refreshments for the class celebration or volunteering time to help you decorate for the class play. Those possibilities are endless, but it’s clear that having involved parents can make your life easier.

You know those fundraisers that we teachers all love so much? Involved parents can be a HUGE asset with making these successful. Let’s say you’re selling items from a catalog. That involved family may not only share it on their social media, but they are also taking that order sheet to their jobs and sharing it with their local friends too. They are putting in the effort to help their child be successful in helping your school raise the funds it needs to succeed.

An involved parent might also volunteer for the PTA or PTO and take an hour or two each week to do things at your school, which lightens the load on educators. Parents want what is best for their child and bringing that energy into your school can be transformative.

6 Ways to Get Parents Involved in the Classroom

Getting parents involved doesn’t have to be the most difficult thing you do this school year. It really comes down to making an effort to include them and make them feel welcome.

Parent Involvement

#1 Reach out to parents and welcome them to your classroom community

The first time you reach out to a parent should be to welcome them and their child to your classroom community. This might be the most important thing you do all year.

Pro Tip: Welcoming parents shows them that you want to include them in your classroom community and that you value them. Make sure this communication can reach them in their native language.

A great way to welcome parents is using ClassTag announcements, and we even have a template to help you write your welcome message.

Welcome Announcement Template 2

#2 Send out a parent survey about students

Having parents fill out a survey about their child helps you to get to know the kids better and shows the parent that you care. There are so many questions you could use on your parent survey, and those questions will likely vary depending on the age you teach. Some great ones to start with are:

  • What are your child’s strengths?
  • What motivates your child?
  • What frustrates (upsets) your child?
  • What is your child interested in?
  • What types of activities does your child enjoy?

#3 Share student success with parents once the year starts

As I said before, starting with positive communications is crucial to success in building relationships with parents. A fantastic way to go about this is to make a point to contact every parent in the first month of school to tell them something positive about their child. There are so many ways to do this, and most just take a minute:

  • Put a note in the student’s folder celebrating their success
  • Send a quick message to parents electronically
  • Call home with the student there with you
  • Share a photo from their learning in class

Pro Tip: Parents love to hear about their child’s success and taking the time to share that shows that you are invested in that child too.

#4 Send out a weekly communication about what students are learning

One of my favorite things as a parent is getting the weekly agenda of what my kids are learning about in class. Knowing what they are learning about helps me to make sure they are working on those spelling words and that we can connect things at home to their learning at school and show how it applies in the world. It also helps with starting conversations with my kids when they come home from school and tell me that they learned “nothing” all day. 😂

#5 Celebrate success with a monthly newsletter

Another great way to share the positive is to create a monthly newsletter of all the great things your students accomplished. The newsletter not only celebrates student’s accomplishments, it also shows parents the progress happening with their learning. You can also use the newsletter to let parents know about upcoming events.

#6 Share photos of the learning (and fun) taking place

Sharing pictures is another easy way to document the learning happening in your classroom while letting parents join in the fun. If you are sharing these in a class community space you will want to make sure you have the parent’s written permission.

ClassTag makes sharing photos (or videos) super simple and you have options of only sharing with specific people, or everyone in the class.

Parent Announcement

Parent involvement can help you to create a thriving classroom of learners as well as a support system to help when you need it. It takes a little bit of time to get started, but is well worth it as the year goes on.

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