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At the start of the school year, teachers are beginning to think about ways for developing positive relationships with parents. The best way to avoid misunderstandings with parents is to have ongoing, clear lines of communication from the beginning. Weekly newsletters that are E-Mailed to parents are an excellent way to keep families informed about classroom news.

Some of the details that are included in weekly newsletters include information about the curriculum, for example, what students are learning, and accomplishments. Teachers can provide parents with questions to engage their children about what they are learning by suggesting specifics that they might discuss over dinner, such as: “Ask your son/daughter to tell you about what they learned last week about ladybugs, or Ask your son/daughter to read you the haiku poem that they wrote.”

Moreover, during the first weeks of school, newsletters can not only forge the relationship between teachers, and parents, but can include information that focused on the goal of education to help motivate, and inspire parents. Equip your parents with mindsets to facilitate learning by sharing resources, such as suggested books, and back-to-school articles for parents. Include quotes that have common themes, an provide impetus toward adult actions that support learning, some examples:

“Education…is painful, continual, and difficult work to be done in kindness, by watching, by warning…by praise, but above all, by example.” – John Ruskin

“It is important that students bring a certain ragamuffin, barefoot irreverence to their studies; they are not here to worship what is known, but to question it. “ — Jacob Bronowski

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” — Benjamin Franklin”

They may forget what you said but they will never forget how you made them feel.” — Carol Buchner

During the first month of school, include the following “Unity” poem in your newsletters, because it focuses on how teachers and parents have to work together to help children learn and develop.

Unity

I dreamt I stood in a studio,

And watched two sculptors there.

The clay they used was a young child’s mind,

And they fashioned it with care.

One was a teacher, the tools he used

Were books, music, and art.

One a parent with a guiding hand

And a gentle loving heart.

Day after day, the teacher toiled,

With a touch that was deft and sure.

While the parent labored by his side,

And polished and smoothed it o’er.

And when at last, their work was done,

They were proud of what they had wrought.

For the things they had molded into the child,

Could neither be sold nor bought.

And each agreed they would have failed

If each had worked alone,

For behind the parent stood the school

And behind the teacher the home.

-Author Unknown

In closing, weekly newsletters from teachers communicate a belief that parents, and teachers are partners in education. Why? As philosopher George Santayana simply said, “A child educated only at school is an uneducated child.” When both groups are inspired to facilitate learning, children are the winners.

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