We all talk about partnering with parents, but what does that look like for the teacher? How is it that teachers can partner with the parents of the children in their class? It is quite easy to concentrate on the lesson preparation and managing the class each week and totally ignore any involvement with the parents. So what is it parents need to know from the teacher of their children?
Here are seven things any involved parent would appreciate knowing from their child’s teacher.
1. Your Interest: Parents want to know how interested you are to have their children in your class. That interest begins to show in how you greet children coming into class. It shows when you talk after class. It shows when you encounter the parents outside class. It shows in how you respond to their child anywhere.
2. Your Intent: If you intend to assist the parent in influencing their child, that is reflected in what you send home, how you talk to them and how encouraging you are about following through on lessons taught. If you intend to care, nurture and teach their child, they need to know that.
3. Your Invitation: You need to demonstrate how pleased you are to have them participate in anything the child is involved in. You might invite the parents to church functions—if they are not already involved. Maybe share your testimony so the parents can come to faith in Christ. You want their involvement, so give all the signals of being inviting.
4. Your Involvement: Obviously, you are involved in the classroom, but this involvement requires your effort outside the classroom, too. Look for opportunities: birthdays, sickness, sports events, vacation interests, family crisis, prayer requests, open house at school and friends.
5. Your Itinerary: Where are you going in your teaching? They might need some explanation of what your lesson series is about. Normally, parents do not see the lesson plans, so they might need some insight into what your curriculum is about.
6. Your Investment: Going the second mile might demonstrate your caring, your concern, your prayer, your preparation, your follow-up that registers your interest in their child. Teaching costs you something; let them know of your investment.
7. You as an Individual: Being open and real is so appreciated by parents! You model much of the Christian life for the child and their parents when you allow them to enter into your life, too. Share about who you are—so they can know something about you and your family.