Why is it so important to create connections between parents and school communities?
Because relationships are what help us feel supported and empowered to support others. When our children are navigating the challenging world of education, they need our support.
Here are a few ways children, early learning organisations, schools and parents benefit from stronger connections:
Advocacy for learning
When schools connect and engage with parents, they create a new perception of how education and learning can be. Most people view education with a mindset framed by their past experiences. Some of these are positive, and some are not always fond memories. Creating a community of participation and engagement where families have a sense of belonging provides opportunity for parents to renew their appreciation and love of learning to feel empowered and capable to support their children’s learning journey.
Parents crave information about how their child is progressing, as well as how they’re doing socially. When they are informed, they’re better able to work alongside the teacher if/when challenges emerge. Communicating expectations of children in their learning provides parents with the opportunity to support learning at home, not only for children to complete tasks but to enhance learning opportunities and build positive relationships around learning in the home.
Positive relationships and role modelling
When children see the adults in their life communicating and getting along as mature adults, they feel more supported. Positive relationships between schools and parents impact on a child’s attitude toward school and their teachers. Put simply, when families and schools walk alongside each other to support children, they are able to thrive and achieve to the best of their ability.
Understanding & empathy
When parents and teachers develop a relationship of trust through communication, teachers are better able to understand a child’s background. Parent knowledge is valuable and critical for teachers in their practice, in knowing the whole child to enable development and teaching of the whole child.
The AITSL standards state that teachers must know their students. This is not possible without engagement with families in understanding their unifying family story.
Each family has their own unique story and sometimes this includes some challenges.
By understanding and working together, many barriers and challenges are able to be overcome for the sake of supporting and encouraging every child.
Advocacy for your school
Parents are often your best source when it comes to word of mouth marketing as they are the greatest indicators of school choice.
When parents feel positively connected and engaged with their school community and with their children, they will share their experiences in a positive way, leading to increased enrolments and ongoing advocacy for your school.