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How Parents, Educators Can Work Together To Inspire Youth

Parents and educators alike aspire to help students perform their best in the classroom. An effective parentteacher partnership can go a long way toward helping children reach their academic potential. With that goal in mind, parents and educators can employ the following strategies as they seek to develop a strong working relationship.

• Keep lines of communication open. Communication between families and educators is of paramount importance. The Early Learning Network, an organization devoted to improving the academic success of children that is funded by the Institute for Education Services, emphasizes the importance of routine communication between parents and educators throughout the school year. The ELN notes that open, clear, constructive and timely communication can help parents know what’s going on at school and ensures teachers know important things about their students.

• Make use of parentteacher conference sessions.

Both parents and teachers can utilize parent-teacher conferences to communicate directly with one another. Parents can prepare a list of questions regarding their child’s academics, while teachers can provide a clear assessment of each student with feedback that celebrates the positive developments a student is making and offers constructive advice on areas where students can improve. Ample pre-conference preparation on the part of both parents and educators can help ensure sessions are productive and beneficial to students’ development.

• Develop a plan together.

Western Governors University recommends parents and educators develop a plan to collaborate together. Establish routine intervals to communicate to discuss a student’s progress. Discuss what seems to be working and any areas where the approach by both parties may need to be tweaked. For example, parents should be open to suggestions regarding homework if the work students are submitting is not reflective of their abilities. Similarly, if students indicate to their parents that a certain in-class approach is not resonating, educators can remain open to suggestion or offer extra assistance if possible. Working on a plan together decreases the risk that any issues a student experiences will fall through the cracks.

A collective effort on the part of parents and educators can increase the likelihood that each student fulfills their academic potential. Parents and educators can work together to keep lines of communication open and make the most of opportunities to speak directly with one another.

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