The Importance of Positive Parent-Teacher Relationships

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Academic Leadership

Teachers and parents provide a vital support system to help students flourish. Both groups are important. When parents and teachers communicate and work together effectively, it can significantly impact each student’s long-term success.

A recent study investigated how the relationships between parents and teachers can influence student progress. Researchers found that a positive, effective relationship between parents and teachers can help students prosper, and a teacher training program can help strengthen the quality of these relationships.

Researchers from the University of Missouri assigned 100+ teachers to a professional development program focused on improving relationships with parents and students, as well as effective classroom management.

Through these trainings, teachers learned how to better engage with students’ parents, including frequent in-person and electronic communication. The teachers completed surveys about their students and parents at the beginning and the end of the year. These surveys included questions about the involvement of parents in their children’s education, and the quality of the teacher’s relationship with each child’s parents.

Researchers found that children whose parents were identified by teachers as more positively involved had higher levels of prosocial behaviors and more academic success. This demonstrates that teachers and parents who work together to empower students could help improve student performance.

This study further illustrates that positive relationships between parents and teachers leads to improved community perceptions of the school. Teachers can take steps to strengthen their relationships with parents. Academic leaders should support these efforts.

Consider the following when it comes to positive parent-teacher relationships.

  • Encourage teachers to open the lines of communication. Parents often want to know what’s happening in the classroom and how their children are faring. Ensure teachers share information about their classroom activities and projects. They can do this in ways that makes sense for their classroom management style—electronically, in print, or both.
  • Provide professional development opportunities focused on parent communication. Helping teachers understand different styles of working with parents can help them improve their strategies and skills. Ensure the training you offer fits your school’s mission and strategic direction.
  • Incorporate parent communication into teachers’ growth and evaluation plans. Work together with each faculty member to set parent communication benchmarks that make sense for them in their growth and evaluation plan. This shows continued support for this initiative and helps give teachers a pathway to success when it comes to parent communication.

Additional ISM Resources:
The Source for Advancement Vol. 16 No. 3 The Three C’s of Parent Communication

Additional ISM resources for Gold members:
I&P Vol. 40 No. 9 Marketing Communications and the Parent
I&P
Vol. 31 No. 6 Your Parent Education Plan: Predictability and Support

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