Most teachers, as well as parents, look forward to developing meaningful relationships with each other because they share the same goals when it comes to students. While this type of relationship may involve sophisticated arrangements, including administrators and public forums, one-to-one communication between the parent and the teacher is fundamental in the development of an effective relationship, and the improvement of a student’s performance (Sheridan & Kratochwill, 1992). Better ways of communication between a parent and a teacher can promote understanding and cooperation between the school and home.
The teachers ought to make efforts at connecting with parents at all times and majorly when the student is performing well (Keyes, 2000). Most often, contacts between the parents and the teachers usually happen whenever a student misbehaves. Making such contacts on positive occasions will stimulate parents to be more responsive to the needs of their child and promote a better relationship between the two of them. Parents too, have a responsibility of making contact with the teachers to discuss the progress of their children or the difficulties they are facing in doing their homework.
The teacher needs to give parents the curriculum so that they can also go through it and have a comprehension of what is required of the students and the learning experiences (Keyes, 2000). Both the parent and the teacher should be specific about the areas of the curriculum the student is having difficulties with and jointly propose specific suggestions of what the parent and the teacher should do to help the student at home and at school respectively. The collaborations between the parent and a teacher are further promoted when a teacher writes down something personal and specific about each of the students for their parents to read. This will show the parents that the teacher understands their children and aid in the building of trust.
How does Each Party know Whether the Relationship is Effective and the Criteria Used to Determine the Effectiveness?
The image of an effective relationship between the two parties is represented by a clear separation of the roles and responsibilities between school and home, optimal social distance in combination with mutual respect (Berger & Riojas-Cortez, 2004). The criteria for determining the effectiveness of the parent/teacher partnership lies in the mutual fulfillment of the two parties’ expectations. The parent and family should efficiently meet the teacher’s and school’s expectations and conversely, the teacher and the school environment ought to effectively provide learning experiences to the learner without unnecessary demands on the home. In another perspective, the school should function as an extended family to the learner, with the teacher handling some parental responsibilities and the other learners as brothers and sisters.
How Students Benefit From the Relationship
An effective parent/teacher relationship enhances a student’s academic performance. The more efficient the relationship is the more chances of higher achievement of the learner in academics (Hoover-Dempsey & Sandler, 1995). An effective relationship between a parent and a teacher leads to better outcomes, such as better behavior of the learner in the classroom, a student having a positive attitude towards school, and improved self-esteem (Hoover-Dempsey & Sandler, 1995). Significant involvement of the parent promotes the parent/student relationship because the parent will understand the curriculum and be more involved in the learning of their child. Additionally, the involvement of the parent promotes the morale of the teacher, which in turn is beneficial to the overall instruction of the student (Hoover-Dempsey & Sandler, 1995).
Berger, E. H., & Riojas-Cortez, M. (2004). Parents as partners in education: Families and schools working together. Merrill.
Hoover-Dempsey, K. V., & Sandler, H. M. (1995). Parental involvement in children’s education: Why does it make a difference? Teachers College Record, 97(2),310-331. (ERIC Journal No. EJ523879)
Keyes, C. R. (2000). Parent-Teacher Partnerships: A Theoretical Approach for Teachers.
Sheridan, S. M., & Kratochwill, T. R. (1992). Behavioral parent-teacher consultation: Conceptual and research considerations. Journal of School Psychology, 30(2), 117-139.