Getting Parents Involved: A guide for teachers

June 14, 2010 at 3:23 PM 3 comments

by: Jennifer Perez

As a teacher myself, I can totally sympathize with all of the teachers out there who struggle for new ways to get and KEEP their student’s parents involved.  Now getting “involved” may mean different things to different people so it is extremely important for you to set clear expectations with your parents from the beginning!  The following are a few techniques and strategies that I have tried over the past few years and continue to do because they WORK!!  Give them a try and let me know what you think!

1. Provide information at Open House.

Many times, this is the first time you will have face-to-face contact with your parents.  Get to know them, ask them questions about how they would like to get involved in their child’s learning and then have them sign up on a pre-printed list of classroom opportunities.  Please remember to collect their contact info whether it’s a phone number or email address. Follow up with your parents every few weeks, reminding them of their commitment and encouraging them to do more!

2. Encourage parents to join the school’s PTA!

Not only will they be getting involved with their child’s classroom AND learning, but now they will be helping to make a difference in the lives of other students as well!  Make sure to THANK them continuously for their time and dedication even if they are only able to assist once in a while.

3. Plan one classroom event each 9 week period.

I have found this to be extremely successful especially when I advertise these events via the classroom newsletter and in the student’s planners.  Now, if your students do not have planners that’s okay!!  Just send letters home every few weeks reminding parents of the event!  I also require an RSVP so that parents feel obligated to attend even if they said yes.  Such activities/events that can be held are:

-Poetry Reading~ students can choose their favorite poem, read them out loud and show off their excellent fluency abilities.

-Presentations on: historical figures, author studies, etc…

-Even a mini- awards ceremony for the class.  Give an award to EACH student SPECIFICALLY for that student!  This way, no one feels left out and this allows for mom, dad, grandma or grandpa their moment to feel proud!!

4. Newsletters!

Enough said here!!  Although time consuming, newsletters can be highly effective when keeping parents in the loop!  Not only can you post upcoming homework assignments, but you can also post future classroom events, school events, picture days, half days and more!   This is an excellent way for you to communicate with the parents even if you do not get the face-to-face time that we would ALL prefer!  The newsletters do not need to go out weekly-try every two weeks or even once per month!

My hope is that these techniques and strategies will prove to be useful for everyone!

As always, Happy Learning!

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Stacey Kannenberg  |  June 15, 2010 at 6:38 PM

    They do work!!! Great list!!!

    Reply
    • 2. imtjen  |  June 16, 2010 at 8:07 PM

      Thank You Stacey!

      Reply
  • 3. Cathy Puett Miller AKA The Literacy Ambassador  |  June 16, 2010 at 2:26 PM

    It’s so true that one size does not fit all! Do you know Dr. Joyce Epstein’s 6 types of parent involvement that leads to student achievement (http://www.csos.jhu.edu/p2000/sixtypes.htm). I also like to say in my workshops for teachers that we have ICKY’s (the I could kiss you parents), PAMS and SAMS (the please ask me’s and the still ask me’s) and the WWWY’s (WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU). This tips are a great way to get each of them a step closer to supporting their child and you as their teacher.

    Reply

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