Schoology Exchange Roundup: Top 7 Reads for Communicating With Parents
It comes as no surprise that engaging parents in the education of their students is a top priority for many schools and districts. In fact, according to the 2018-2019 State of Digital Learning survey, nearly 30% of teachers report that a lack of parent involvement is a top challenge for them. In order to get parents truly engaged we must connect through effective communication. Many parents want to be involved, but don’t necessarily know how they can support the school. Here are seven of our best reads for communicating with, engaging, and involving parents in your school community.
As educators, we have a responsibility not only to understand how technology impacts the privacy of our students and the protection of student data, but to employ best practices and communicate the issues and our rationale to parents and the community. It’s important to be open and honest, while ensuring that all administrators and teachers understand their legal obligations regulated by Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Check out a few ways to work with parents in your district and assure them that student data is appropriately protected.
Parental involvement is crucial for helping students know when they are being bullied and offering direction and support in putting an end to it. Unfortunately, K-12 students are the victims of cyberbullying—bullying that takes place using technology—more than ever before. As the greatest advocates and protectors of their students, parents should be encouraged and empowered to monitor students phones, use social media, and know how to identify the signs of cyberbullying. Learn five tips to share with parents as well as the signs to look for in students who are being bullied online.
It takes more than just involving parents in students’ education for them to be engaged. With plenty of barriers to engagement, including language and cultural differences, attitudes about school, and transportation difficulties, increasing personal contact and using effective communication are just the tip of the iceberg. With many suggestions for the best methods to communicate and how to truly increase meaning personal contact and go beyond the standard newsletter, read this article on parent engagement strategies for administrators.
Providing feedback is a challenging but necessary responsibility for educators. Constructive feedback—which may not necessarily be positive—helps people grow and improve, parents included. When it comes to giving feedback to parents about their students’, it’s important to be kind and direct, while focusing on the behavior, not the person. Never make parents feel like you’re attacking their student’s character. This article is full of tips on handling uncomfortable conversations and letting go of that ineffective “praise sandwich.”
We’re always looking for ways to open the lines of communication with parents. It’s essential, afterall. We don’t have to embark upon this journey blindly, though. Administrators and teachers need a detailed strategic plan that can be executed over the long haul.
One major key to a successful education program? You guessed it: parent communication. (Seeing a theme here?) The quality of relationships and communication is one of the most important factors that determines how parents feel about their student’s school. For administrators, you must remember that you’re always communicating. Everything you do or say—whether positive or negative—impacts what parents think about you, how they feel about the school, and can prompt them to make judgements on the quality of education provided. The six tips shared in this article can help administrators close the communication gap with parents.
It’s not uncommon for parents to extend their own technological jitters to edtech, so it’s important to empower them so that they become advocates—rather than roadblocks—for the use of your learning management system (LMS). The more communication channels you use to inform parents of your LMS (including your LMS itself), the more effective your message will be. Learn how to clarify your purpose, ease parent’s concerns, encourage the use of the parent portal, and more in this article surrounding parent buy-in for your LMS.
Our very own Schoology community chimed in a few years back to share their best tips on getting parents involved and engaged using the LMS. The answers range from making the LMS a “one stop shop” for everything parents might need to access to hosting training sessions for parents and everything in between. You’re sure to find a handful of strategies to implement in your school or district.
Ultimately, parent engagement is up to us—the teachers, administrators and school staff that work with their students’ everyday. Obviously, our students’ parents are highly capable of making their own decisions on the level of involvement they offer the school, but we have to give them something with which they can engage. Share upcoming events, student success stories, grades and assessment data, ask for help—your students’ parents can be your greatest ally.
Do you have any parent engagement resources to share? Tell us on Twitter @Schoology