- Writing for Edutopia, Common Sense Education's Jeff Knutson notes the importance of strong teacher-parent communication and offers suggestions for improving it without adding a significant burden to educators.
- Building a strong line of communication between educators and families can create an environment where parents have better understanding and fewer questions regarding what's going on in class, teachers have more time to focus on the classroom, and students are more engaged and responsible, Knutson writes.
- Among Knutson's suggestions for strengthening those lines of communication are utilizing a classroom-specific messenger app, starting dialogues via portfolio tools, adopting online grade books, launching a classroom blog or website, or engaging in real-time with social media.
For educators, parents are perhaps the most important stakeholders. The more engaged a student's family is in the learning process, the better off that student's performance is likely to be. Likewise, the better that student's achievement, the more likely his or her family will support what's happening in the classroom.
Parent engagement can be critical not only when seeking support from local businesses and community organizations for a variety of school activities, but can also be influential when a school or district needs to make its case to state and federal lawmakers. Engaged families are more likely to go to bat when outreach to those parties is needed.
While adopting Knutson's suggestions requires some upfront time investment to learn how to effectively utilize the platforms and applications involved, once they are up and running, the tools are easy enough to streamline into everyday routines and well worth it.