Why is Parent-Teacher Communication Important ?
The responsibility for a child’s education is not the school’s or the teachers’ responsibility alone. Parents-Student-Teachers are the three key stakeholders involved in a child’s education. A cohesive alignment and synchronization between these stakeholders are essential for the child’s holistic development. Communication between parents and teachers is necessary to achieve this synchronization. Parents and teachers need to work like a team, perfectly coordinated, aligned, and in sync with the greater good of the child. Any disconnect in this parent and teacher communication can lead to dissonance in the child’s learning journey leading to suboptimal personality development of the child.
Let’s Look at Some of the Critical Benefits of Parent and Teacher Communication
1. Increased Involvement of Parents in the Educational Process
Regular parent and teacher communication give parents a sense of involvement in their child’s developmental journey. When children see their parents actively involved and communicating with their teachers, they also start taking more ownership of their academic goals.
Parent-teacher communication communicates to the teachers and the child that you value and respect them and are equally invested in their developmental goals. It also creates more significant opportunities for feedback and support amongst the three key stakeholders and a greater sense of community and shared responsibility.
Increased parental involvement in the educational process also acts as a catalyst to enhance trust and opens lines of communication between parents and teachers. This enhanced trust livens up the environment at school and creates a greater sense of community within the school.
2. Enhanced Collaboration Between the Home and School Environment
Parents and teachers are like a team working together to achieve the child’s developmental goals. Students spend part of their day at school and the other part at home. The learning continues once they step out of school.
Effective parent-teacher communication will ensure that the learning journey at home and school is entirely in sync. It leads to greater consistency between the home and school environments. This consistency is synonymous with a relay race where runners complete their laps and hand over the baton to their teammates to continue the race.
Any gap in the baton handover can lead to the team being out of the race – an undesirable outcome. Parent-teacher communication can be considered a handing over of the baton when the child transitions between school and home daily. Effective parent-teacher communication enhances collaboration between the house and school environment, which extends classroom learning to homes and helps reinforce classroom learning.
3. More Effective Use of Resources
Home and school are two resource pools accessible to children daily. Enhanced collaboration through effective parent-teacher communication leads to optimal utilization of these resources.
Our classrooms are filled with students coming from diverse backgrounds. Some might have access to a vast pool of resources, while those coming from humble backgrounds may need more resources to have access.
Honest parent-teacher communication can set the right expectations and drive efforts toward making the most of the available resources. It can also help efficient resource pooling and sharing amongst the students, schools, and parents. This further strengthens the sense of community and harmony at school.
4. Greater Accountability for Student Progress
When parents and teachers work together, it creates greater accountability and ownership toward student progress. The fear of letting their team down pushes good team players to work towards achieving their shared objectives.
Good parent-teacher communication brings in similar behavioral influences. When parents-teachers-students work as a team, they take ownership of the child’s developmental objectives and work together to ensure they are achieved. As a low-hanging fruit, this enhanced accountability results in Improved attendance and punctuality of the student.
The parent-teacher-student teamwork also enhances student engagement and motivation toward achieving developmental goals. This leads to their improved academic performance and more positive behavior and attitude toward learning.
5. Improved Understanding of the Student’s Academic Progress and Needs
Effective parent-teacher communication brings transparency and visibility to the child’s academic progress. A better understanding of the child’s strengths and weaknesses is achieved. Home and school are physically separated environments, and parent-teacher communication acts as a conduit between these distinct environments so that there is no loss in translation as far as the child’s developmental needs are concerned.
Any developmental needs identified by teachers in the school must be communicated to the parents and vice-versa so that parents and teachers can collaborate and work on those needs in unison. An increased understanding of academic progress and needs leads to more effective goal-setting and planning for the student’s education.
6. Better Identification and Addressing of Any Learning Difficulties
Regular parent-teacher communication helps in the early identification of learning difficulties which can then be addressed proactively. These learning difficulties can be in the form of clinical challenges such as dyslexia (difficulty in reading and spelling), ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), dyscalculia (difficulty in performing arithmetical calculations resulting from damage to the brain), dysgraphia (inability to write coherently), and dyspraxia (difficulty in performing coordinated movements). Early identification and resolution of any issues or concerns can go a long way in avoiding any long-term learning or developmental deficiencies in the child.
Effective parent and teacher communication creates a framework providing better support for students with special learning needs.
7. A Better Understanding of Cultural and Individual Differences
We live in a cosmopolitan community with children from diverse cultures across the country coming together in a single unified classroom. Diversity of culture can manifest in terms of the different languages we speak and our variety of beliefs and values.
Diversity can also manifest in the children’s personalities and behavioral traits. This diversity can often pose a challenge in the child’s learning journey. Effective parent-teacher communication can help build empathy toward each other’s distinct cultural values, beliefs, and personalities. This enhanced empathy can help overcome significant challenges and learning difficulties a child faces in the classroom or at home.
In short, effective parent-teacher communication is of utmost importance in the child’s developmental journey. The onus is on the parents and the teachers to create avenues for such communication. Schools typically organize periodic parent-teacher meetings and conferences. However, it is advised that parents and teachers build a personal connection for more systematic and effective ways of exchanging notes regularly about the child’s developmental progress and needs. Read more about the best positive parenting tips.
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