Parent Teacher Communication Tip Sheet (page 2)
“There should never be a vast divide between school life and home life. Every kid is partly home-schooled and every kid is partly school-homed!” -- Dr. Mel Levine, in A Mind at a Time
Communication is the key to the Parent-Teacher relationship. The Communication Plan is a tool for helping parents plan and structure meetings in order to collaborate with teachers to support their child’s success.
Step 1 – Consider the Characteristics of the Communicators
Think about your own communication strengths and challenges. How will you manage these? Have you communicated with this person before? What worked? What didn't work?
Step 2 – Identify Strengths and Affinities
Think about words you will use to describe your child's learning strengths (areas of skill) and affinities(things your child is passionate about) so that the teacher understands what you're saying and can relate these behaviors to the classroom. Use descriptive language, metaphors, and analogies, and provide evidence of observable behaviors.
Step 3 – Identify Challenges
Choose 1-3 areas of weakness for your child on which you will focus. Putting boundaries around the problem areas will help them feel more manageable. Share examples of where you see these weaknesses at home.
Step 4 – Identify Strategies for Success
Share successful strategies you’ve used to support your child’s learning, but be open to alternative strategies as well. Some strategies that work at home might not be appropriate for school. Limit the number of strategies you propose in order to get a clear picture of whether an idea is truly effective. The initial conversation should be the first in a series of conversations. You can update or revise the strategy list at a later meeting.
Step 5 – Communicate Optimism
Identify the message of optimism you will share with the teacher so that he feels hopeful about your child as a learner and your alliance as adult influences in this child's life.
Step 6 – Identify Strategies to Check for Understanding
Choose strategies you will use to make sure the teacher understands what you are saying. For instance, ask if she has any questions or review the plan that you developed together.
©2007 All Kinds of Minds. Reprinted with permission. All Kinds of Minds is a non-profit institute dedicated to the understanding of differences in learning. Visit www.allkindsofminds.org for more information and resources, including an online Parent Toolkit.
Reprinted with the permission of All Kinds of Minds © 1999-2008 All Kinds of Minds
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