When your children first started preschool, there was much separation anxiety. The beginning of a new school year is like that for children...and for parents!
For teachers, the beginning of the school year for toddlers and preschoolers is a time of building trust with the children and parents. It was a time of building relationships and creating a team with one shared goal: providing our children with what they needed to develop and grow as preschoolers. Teachers need to endeavor to establish partnership with parents to support students’ learning and to expand their skills in order to maximize effective communication with parents.
Effective and smooth communication between teachers and parents in preschool is crucial to build the sense of community both in school and at home and to develop school as a learning community. (Schussler, 2003).
A “customer-friendly” school environment reflects how highly communication with parents is valued by school staff (Chambers, 1998). Expressed communication involves one-way or two-way exchanges (Berger, 1991). One-way communication occurs when teachers seek to inform parents about events, activities, or student progress through a variety of sources, such as an introductory letter at the beginning of the school year, report cards, communication books, school Web sites, and so on. Two-way communication involves interactive dialogue between teachers and parents. Conversations may occur during face to face meetings, during the socialization of classroom curriculum, programs and goals, during telephone calls, emails, home visits, parent-teacher conferences, open houses, and various school-based community activities. Teachers should actively incorporate both strategies to maximize sharing information with parents. To let the parents know the class situation, how teachers interact with the children by involving them in class through storytelling, cooking with children and sharing their job toward children are able to create positive learning experience for both parents and children.
It is important to consider when a face-to-face meeting is more appropriate than a written exchange in preschool. Teachers, as an extension of the child's family, should work together with parents for the child's grow path. When the parent-teacher relationship is strong and parents and teachers work as a team, it is easier to come up with plans and ideas from school on how to help and support children in certain areas of learning which the child is struggling with. This will increase the children’s motivation to learn and will raise their academic achievement in all areas of learning. Parents also benefit from being involved in their children's education by learning more about the school's academic program and how it works.
Berger, E. H. (1991). Parents as partners in education: The school and home working together. New York: Macmillan.
Chambers, L. (1998). How customer-friendly is your school? Educational Leadership, 56(2), 33-35
Schussler, D. L. (2003). Schools as learning communities: Unpacking the concept. Journal of School Leadership, 13, 498-528.
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