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Five Tips for Developing Positive Relationships with Parents

Five Tips for Developing Positive Relationships with Parents

Written by Melvin Gravely

Research shows that young children are more likely to succeed academically and are less likely to engage in violent behavior in the future if their families are involved in their education. Many parents say that they feel unwelcome or uncomfortable in their children's early learning programs. The activities below will help our program by letting parents know they are welcome in school and by helping them find ways to contribute to their children's education both in and out of the Head Start Program.

1. Smile When You See Parents -Greet them. Most parents only occasionally interact with teachers so make sure that at least 90 percent of your encounters with them are positive, warm, and friendly. The impressions left from fleeting encounters in the hallway last a long time.

2. Learn Their Names. Learn how they like to be addressed by their first name and how to pronounce them correctly. Parents really respond to this consideration.

3. Declare your Intention Tell parents that you want to partner with them, that you appreciate their support, and look forward to working together. Remind them of this as often as possible.

4. Communicate often and in Various Forms. Provide information about what's going on in your class (weekly would be ideal): what children are learning, what they've accomplished, what you're excited about, what they're excited about, and the learning and growth you're seeing. Suggest things that they might ask their child about: "Ask them to tell you about what they learned last week about meal worms.

5. Make a Positive Phone Call Home. Call all homes within the first couple of weeks and then at regular intervals throughout the year. It will surprise parents at first but it becomes a welcomed conversation.

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