7.1 Communicating with Families

Communicating with Families- Teacher communicates with families about students’ progress on a regular basis, respecting cultural norms, and is available as needed to respond to family concerns.

Communication with families about students’ progress on a regular basis, respecting cultural norms, and being available as needed to respond to family concerns is an extremely essential part of supporting each individual student so that their best learning can occur. During my internship experience I have seen the great success that students can achieve when teachers and families team up to support the student.

To invite communication and teamwork my mentor teacher and I meet one- on- one with students and their families before the first day of school. During this time, we are able get to know the student on a personal level, ask them about their interests, culture, and excitements and potential fears of coming to school. We are able to ask the parents/guardians about any student or school concerns, exchange contact information, and we are also able to tell them how they can be supporting the student academically at home. This one- on- one time builds trust, support, and relationship with the student and families. It open lines of communication and tells the parents that we are committed to supporting the student both academically and emotionally. One- on- one conferences occur again in November. November conferences provide a formal meeting where parents and teachers are able to check in on the students’ progress.

A monthly news letter is sent home to parents and families updating them on what we have been learning this month, on up-coming events, and a note from the teacher. My mentor teacher and I also write quick personal notes to each student and their families about what the student can specifically be working on at home. The image shows one of the monthly news letters that is sent home to each student. As shown, the teacher leaves her phone number and email address if the parents have any questions.

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My internship has taught be a few specific and powerful ways to communicate with students’ families. I have learned that there is great student success when teachers and parents team up to support the student together. The parent teacher relationship is extremely important in communicating to the student that he/she is cared for on an individual level and that both the parent and the teacher will work together to support the student in their best learning (Merkley, Schmidt, Dirksen & Fuhler, 2006).

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