Building Strong Parent-Teacher Partnerships: Exploring the benefits of collaboration between parents and teachers in supporting a child’s growth and development 

While the relationships your child forms with peers are important, you may be surprised that the most significant relationship, in terms of your child’s educational success and development, is the one you form with his or her educator.

For many children, the most significant adults in their lives on a day-to-day basis are immediate family members and caregivers (primarily parents), and their educators. These are the adults with whom they spend the most time, who make most of the decisions regarding how they spend their time and who provide guidance and direction, through their actions and their words, on most aspects of their lives.

Positive connections between parents and educators have been shown to improve children’s academic achievement, social competencies, and emotional well-being. When parents and educators work as partners, children do better in kinder and at home. They demonstrate better social skills, fewer behavioral problems, and a greater ability to adapt to situations and get along.

A healthy parent-teacher relationship is also beneficial to parents and educators. Working together helps develop more effective communication, while developing stronger relationships with one another and developing skills to support children’s behaviors and learning.

Little Stars - Building Strong Parent-Teacher Partnerships

The three C’s: Forming a constructive parent-teacher partnership

Partnerships work better when they include three main components represented as the three C’s: communication, consistency, and collaboration.

Communication – Communicate with your child’s educators early on and throughout their early learning years. Start by letting them know that you want to play your part in your child’s education.

Discuss with your child’s educator the best ways to communicate. This can be as simple as sending notes with your child, leaving a voice message for the teacher, emailing important information or other methods unique to your situation.

The best kind of communication is open, clear, constructive, and timely. Frequent, two-way communication is important to stay apprised of what is happening at kinder, and to let their educators know important things about your child. Home-school notes are especially effective.

Attend meetings with questions and observations about your child’s efforts and behaviors, not just their achievements. Let your child’s educator know about your child’s strengths and challenges, likes and dislikes.

Consistency – This involves opportunities and experiences you provide at home to support your child’s learning. Ask about and suggest ways you can work with your child at home to encourage learning and healthy habits. Creating routines for homework, such as establishing a time and quiet place, is important. Providing learning materials, reading with your child, and encouraging healthy eating habits and physical activity all contribute to their success later in life.

Talk about methods for ensuring that you and the educator are “on the same page” when it comes to plans and expectations. This kind of partnership sends a consistent message to your child and lets them know that you and their educator together support their learning.

Collaboration – a collaborative, cooperative partnership focuses on specific, positive strategies to help your child. Planning and problem-solving are forms of collaboration and will be especially important when your child needs extra support to reach a goal.

Make an effort to understand educators’ goals and expectations for your child and let them know about your goals. Communicate about how you can be a partner to help your child achieve them. If you have concerns, respectfully ask about modifications that are aligned with your child’s strengths and challenges.

Plan and problem-solve around issues that may arise. If the relationship and communication channels are developed early, it will be much easier to address challenges if they appear. Collaborative planning with your child’s educator involves acknowledging the need to work together to address a concern, staying focused on finding a solution (not placing blame), making plans that involve support and responsibility at both home and school, following through on plans and checking back to make sure progress is being made.

Building a positive, collaborative relationship will have a strong impact on your child’s development, and go a long way in helping you work together to ensure your child has the support they need to start their early learning journey.

Leave a comment