Why Are Parent Teacher Relationships Important? Science Gives Some Reasons
Turns out those PTA meetings actually count for something other than payment of levies. And your child has a lot to gain.
It may seem that your child's teachers are the only ones saddled with the responsibility for your child's learning. But that is not the truth. Paying expensive school fees is also not enough. As a parent, you also have your part to play in your child becoming the little Einstein you dream about. Actually, the perfect situation for your child's excellence at school would be a synergy between you, the parent, and the teachers. In recent times, with parents becoming even busier, this relationship has become all too important. But why are parent-teacher relationships important? We'll be outlining that below, as well as some tips for strengthening your relationship with your child's teachers.
Why Are Parent Teacher Relationships Important?
Here's what science has to say about the subject.
In a study carried out by researchers from the University of Missouri, the researchers discovered that a positive relationship between parents and teachers can help students prosper. The researchers assigned 100+ teachers to a professional development program focused on improving relationships with parents and students, as well as effective classroom management. Through these trainings, teachers learned how to better engage with students’ parents; including frequent in-person and electronic communication. The teachers filled surveys about their students and parents at the beginning and the end of the year. These surveys included questions about the involvement of parents in their children’s education. They also asked about the quality of the teacher’s relationship with each child’s parents.
Researchers found that children whose parents were identified by teachers as more positively involved had higher levels of prosocial behaviors and more academic success. This study demonstrates the following:
- teachers and parents who work together to empower students could help improve learning performance.
- positive relationships between parents and teachers leads to improved community perceptions of the school.
- teachers can take steps to strengthen their relationships with parents.
- academic leaders should support these efforts.
So why are parent teacher relationships important? They are important for the child's emotional, social and intellectual success. Now that we have successfully answered the question of why parent teacher relationships are important, how do we enhance them? See these tips below.
How To Build An Effective Parent-Teacher Relationship
Getting to know your child’s teachers will not only benefit you; but it will also greatly improve your child’s chances of success in school. Building a strong parent-teacher relationship can be difficult, but we have some useful tips to make the process easier:
- Contact your child’s teacher during the first week of school. This gives you the opportunity to meet one another when you have any complaints.
- Parent-teacher communication should focus on your child's best interests. It is essential to his/her success in school.
- As a parent, you know your child better than the teacher. When you give your child’s teacher insight into his or her character, strengths, interests, needs and areas of concern, it will be much easier for the teacher to establish a relationship with your child.
- Mutual disclosure is another important aspect of the parent-teacher communication process. This is not easy but you should be willing to reveal information about struggles at home. Especially ones that might affect the child’s ability to get along with others or learn properly.
- Establish a regular means of parent-teacher communication. Whether communicating by phone, email, or in person, be proactive and work with the teacher in order to solve any problems.
- Another great tip is to send a note of appreciation to your child’s teacher for all that he or she does. Teachers often hear from parents only when there are complaints or conflicts. Acknowledge and inspire teachers with your recognition and support.
- Finally, create a strong parent-teacher relationship by volunteering. Helping out in the classroom is a great way to support your child’s teacher.
The 3 Vital Cs of Building These Relationships
Partnerships are most powerful when they include these three main components, represented as the “3 C’s”: Communication, Consistency and Collaboration.
You will need frequent communication with your child's teacher in order to keep abreast of what's happening at school. This is also important for letting teachers know important details about your child.
Consistently create routines and provide opportunities to enhance your child's learning at home. It reinforces the notion that you and his teacher are working together to support him. You should also be consistent in your communication with his teacher. Try not to leave it only to when you have a complaint.
A collaborative, cooperative partnership involves planning and problem solving to develop strategies that will help the children develop their highest potential. Collaboration will be easier if communication is frequent, and you consistently create opportunities for your child’s learning.
Make an effort to understand teachers’ goals and expectations for your child, and let teachers know about your goals. Communicate about how you can be a partner to help your child achieve them. If you have concerns, respectfully ask about modifications that are aligned with your child’s strengths and challenges.
Plan and problem-solve around issues that may arise. If the relationship and communication channels are developed early, it will be much easier to address challenges if they appear. Collaborative planning with your child’s teacher involves acknowledging the need to work together to address a concern, staying focused on finding a solution (not placing blame), making plans that involve support and responsibility at both home and school, following through on plans and checking back to make sure progress is being made.
Also read: The Best Free Learning Sites For Children.