Parent-Teacher Communication Advice from Veteran Teachers

  • Parents will be much more supportive of you and helpful disciplining their children if you contact them as soon as a problem starts. Keep them updated on their child's progress. Most kids just need to know what their boundaries are!

    Susan Cowell
    Medfield High School
    Medfield, MA
    Grade Levels: 9-12

  • Remember you are not just doing a job, but you are also advocates for the children. Become a member of the PTA, and have a voice in what goes on at the legislature level.

    Val Gentry-Fernandez
    Kearney Middle School
    Kearney, CO
    Grade Levels: 6-8

  • Keep parents informed regularly of what you are doing in class. They really do appreciate this and it helps with parent-teacher communication. Using has been a lifesaver as parents know their child's grades at all times. This cuts down on questions like, "Why is my child getting this grade?"

    Lynette Wehner
    Central Middle School
    Plymouth, MI
    Grade Levels: 6-8

  • Send home a weekly newsletter to parents and have them sign it. This way you are keeping the parent informed about what is going on at school.

    Grade Levels: All

  • Get to know parents and students ahead of time. Ask the counselors to give you a list of your students about two weeks before school starts. Send the students and parents a "Welcome to my class. I can't wait to meet you postcard." It does wonders for opening communication lines!

    Keron Gwaltney
    Luella Middle School
    Locust Grove, GA
    Grade Levels: 6-8

  • You can say no to parents. Politely, diplomatically, gently, but firmly, you can say no and survive!! For example, a parent asks if you can send each assignment home a day ahead so that they can go over it with him or her the night before? You can respond with a no and then give an explanation.

    Mary A. Lang
    Gwynne School
    Gwynne, Alberta, Canada
    Grade Levels: K-2

  • Call home or send a postcard to parents as soon as possible letting them know how enthusiastic you are about having their child in class. Be sure to state that you want parents to call you if they experience a problem. I have yet to find a parent who doesn't tell a teacher to do the same. Besides, students are less likely to misbehave once they realize you and parents "know each other". (Although this is substantially more work at the middle or high school level, the positive results make it worth the effort).

    Charmaine Wierzbicki
    Calumet High School
    Gary, Indiana
Return to What I Wish I'd Known When I Was a New Teacher: Advice

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