Wit & Wisdom

Game Changers & Tales of Triumph and Woe

Teachers: Don't Leave Out the Parents

CJ Westerberg, November 21, 2011 11:03 AM


"I think we need to stop assuming we know what parents want
in our classrooms and rather ask them."
Don't Leave Out the Parents

by Mrs. Ripp

Parents - every teacher has an opinion on what their role in the classroom is. 

Some people welcome them with open arms, others prefer to keep them in the copy room. Whatever your take is, parents and dealing with them are an inevitable part of our job. And yet nothing is really mentioned in teacher's education about the role of parents and just how valuable they can be to our classroom.  No one sits you down and explains that when parents contact you it is probably because they have the best interest of their child in mind.

I think we should embrace parents and their role in our teaching realm.  I think we need to stop assuming we know what parents want in our classrooms and rather ask them.  I think we should start assuming that parents are truly on our side and not someone who is out to get us. 

This does not mean that I suggest they plan our lessons, but most parents know their child much better than we do, so we not ask their advice? Now is the time to reach out and create a lasting relationship built on trust and truly include parents in our classroom.

I think we are taught in college that we need to be the ones with the answer so if student X is acting out then we have to present a plan of act to X's parents. Why not dialogue instead?
Why not include them in the thought process rather than present them with a final product? Mind you, I know that there are parents that are non-existent or truly do dislike a certain teacher, but even so, we must try. After all, aren't we yelling loudly how our voice is being
left out in the education debate?

Don't exclude parents from your classroom.
Teacher Mrs. Ripp aka @pernilleripp can be found at Blogging Through the Fourth Dimension.
From her bio:  "I became a teacher because I wanted to make sure all kids I taught had someone that believed in them. That belief only grows stronger every year."

H/t to Chris Wejr tweet.  Cross-posted from Mrs. Ripp's blog.

Related The Daily Riff:

The Parent Trapped by Cathy Buyrn

  • Meta-analysis suggests (John Hattie, Visible Learning) that we need the parent encouraging the children and being ambitious for the children. Before we can achieve that it would be beneficial to teach the parents the 'language of school' so there might be clearer communication. consultations. I still agree that dialogue with parents would be better than the current monologue. In parent consultations I suggest the opener of 'good evening, how can I help you', rather than ' little johnny is....'.

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It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.
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