- Parent-teacher communication is essential to student success, and digital communication tools can help teachers foster strong relationships with parents.
- Offering parents a variety of digital communications channels can help with engagement.
- RingCentral’s communications platform provides what schools need to interact with parents via a variety of communications channels.
👩🏫 💻 👩👧👧One of the biggest challenges facing teachers is communicating with parents. Grab our checklist to learn how to do so effectively.
How can you communicate effectively with parents? Parent communication is key to a healthy parent-teacher relationship. However, parents can also feel overwhelmed with the abundance of communication. Using online tools such as parent portals and a cloud-based communications platform can help parents receive and respond to essential communications and develop a positive relationship with your school.
Why parent communication is essential
Today, many parents work full-time, and not all parents have the opportunity to become involved in the day-to-day life of the school. Even parents who are active volunteers may only volunteer in one classroom or in a specific area of the school. As a teacher or a principal, parent communication helps you:
- Celebrate community events
- Acknowledge and thank individuals within the school community
- Communicate about new policies
- Bring up safety protocols
- Build connections between administration, teachers, parents, and students
- Remind parents about school deadlines and the community calendar
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Parent communication builds social connections
Parent communication helps you develop a positive, constructive relationship with your parent community, which in turn allows you to develop that sort of relationship with your students. Ongoing parent communication builds trust and warmth between parents and teachers, and positive parent-teacher relationships also lead to academic gains for students.
Effective parent communication strategies also allow you to ask questions to parents instead of making assumptions. Through effective communication, parents and teachers become a team.
However, according to Walden University, “one size does not fit all when it comes to parent-teacher communication, in elementary school and otherwise.” Cloud-based communications platforms allow you to offer many avenues of communication to parents.
Provide multiple avenues for communication
Different families have different ways of communicating. Some families like written notices, while others follow the school on social media.
Providing many different avenues for communication helps families connect with the school. Use a form at the beginning of the year to learn more about your students and their parents and to ask them how they would like to communicate.
Social media is an excellent way to celebrate what is going on in your school and in individual classrooms. Develop a school or classroom Instagram account or blog that documents some of the activities that students have enjoyed at school. Providing visuals will help younger students explain the activities to their parents, and it will also support parent communication with families for whom English is not their first language.
A social media account can highlight many of the positive activities taking place in the classroom. You can use a blog to provide a preview of school and classroom events and projects that are coming up in the next few weeks. That way, parents and students can stay on top of deadlines and enjoy thinking about upcoming field trips and projects together.
Apps for real-time communication
While not all parents can be present in the classroom, some communications apps allow students to share learning with their parents in real time. They might share a snippet of a project presentation, or you can share a highlight of the day’s math lesson. This reminds parents to talk with their children about what they learned in class that day, and parents become part of their child’s day even when they are not physically present at the school.
Texts can improve students’ school results
Simple, straightforward communication is often very effective. Surprisingly, even a weekly text to parents can help them become more aware of and involved in their children’s school lives. A Columbia University study showed that sending texts to parents about their children’s assignments and absences led to a 38 percent drop in course failures.
Digital signage is quick and easy communication
Drive-through communication is possible. Communicate with parents as they drop off or pick up their students from school. Digital signage within and outside your school is an avenue for communication with students, parents, and teachers. Digital signs give you the opportunity to highlight school calendars, security, and school spirit events for parents and students alike as they pass by before, during, and after school.
Parent portals provide ease of access
As opposed to parent communications that are sent out to the family, a parent portal allows parents to interact with their child’s education whenever they please. Parent portals give parents access to their child’s schedule, attendance records, and grades. For parents making plans or advocating for more support for their child, a parent portal provides the information that they need to track how their child is doing in school. A parent portal also allows older students to track their completed coursework and GPA so that they know what gaps they need to fill before they apply for post-secondary courses.
Cloud-based communications bring it all together
There are so many different opportunities for parent communication. By using a cloud-based communications platform, you can bring together many different communications strategies under a single digital platform, making your school communications easier.
For instance, cloud-based communications platforms can:
- Give you the ability to message parents and students, both on a schedule and in real time in case of a school event or emergency
- Run parent and student meetings on a video platform for your school
- Use a contact center to manage phone, text, and social media communications
- Mobilize your entire school campus with a single, cloud-based phone system that is accessible on all devices
- Share lectures and lessons with students online, archiving them for future access
- Track parent and student communications in a single platform
With a cloud-based communications platform, you’ll be able to easily stay on top of parent and student communications. This gives your administrators and teachers more ease of communication, and it reassures parents with an easily accessible yet secure communications platform.
Parental involvement in education is key to student success, and it’s also essential for a thriving school community. Are you curious about implementing a cloud-based communications platform for your school? See how it works. Visit RingCentral today.
Originally published Jun 14, 2022
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