Once again, Sally Haughey’s Fairy Dust Teaching has crafted some unique ideas for teachers to involve families with their child’s learning. Specifically, during the early childhood years highly involved families equal higher achievement, regardless of socioeconomic status, ethnic-racial background, or parent educational level. The more extensive the involvement, the higher the student achievement, so it is crucial that a family’s responsiveness to the child’s educational has the most impact in results, and outcomes. Fairy Dust Teaching shares some creative ways to include families, check them out!
Families need to feel honored to be involved, and in the beginning of the year teachers strive to build safety, trust, and respect with all families.
Develop Systems Of Connection That Have Families Feel Respected
Tip #1: Provide two important documents at the beginning of the year:
- Family Handbook/Packet – Includes personalized information from the teacher that parents “need to know” and “what they should expect” during the school year, such as birthdays, discipline, homework expectations, etc.
- Curriculum Guide – What is my child learning?”
Offer Gestures Of Kindness
Tip #2: Send a Post Card welcoming the family. This is perhaps the easiest of these ideas. A simple post card welcoming the family to school makes families feel “you belong here.”
Show You Are Concerned and Invested
Tip#3: Make a “Checking in” call a few weeks into the school year, and easy, highly effective way to build family connections. Make a script to start a conversation, such as: “I am calling to check on how school is going, and if you have any questions or concerns.” Next, share something positive about their child recently observed.
Let Families Know You Are Accessible
Tip#4: Provide a business card magnet with your contact information. This gesture of respect for families says, “Here is my contact information and how to reach me. I am available!”
Have Families Express Their Hopes and Dreams For Their Child
Tip#5: Create a Hopes & Dreams Weaving. Families write their hopes and dreams for their child, and weave in the loom.
Let Families Know That You Are Accessible
Tip#6: Provide a way for families to communicate with you on a daily basis with a communication log. The communication log includes the teacher’s E-mail address, daily overview of homework. Use the communication log to primarily deliver notes about the children, choose three students a day to write in their log. This affirmation says to parents that your child belongs here, and is cared for deeply.
Learn Parent & Guardian Names
Tip#7: Make a deck of index card note sheets. Include the child’s name, a photo, and parent names; jot notes about the family, and things they tell you about their child, or to record parent conversations, dates you communicated with them.