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Creating a Partnership with Parents

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Heidi Jo Gallagher | Wichita Collegiate School | Wichita, Kansas

The teacher describes how she builds positive relationships with parents by sharing expectations and guidelines at the beginning of the year. For example, she clearly defines a procedure for drop off while giving the parents reassurance for the students’ well being.

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It’s very important, in the beginning of the year to make a positive relationship with your students’ parents. It’s really a partnership between the teacher and the parent that gives a student the best success for your classroom. So, when I first meet a parent, I want to make sure I introduce myself kindly, and warmly. I tell them my name, I tell a little bit about myself, and maybe my family, and where I learned my teaching skills. It gives them a sense of comfort to know I’ve tried and practiced working with children. Next, I show them a little handout, that has the classroom guidelines on them. Has the rules on what to wear to school, how we behave at school, and just some expectations on manners, and arrival and drop off procedures, things that could be useful on a day to day basis. And then we talk about our routine, when they drop the children off for school. So, in my classroom the parents do not really enter our class. They stop at the door, and the student walks in on their own, showing a little bit of courage as they start the day to come and try new things in my room. And, remember the parents might want to tell you a little bit of information about your child that’s coming into your room, say maybe they didn’t sleep well, or they weren’t very hungry, or maybe they were really hungry, and they didn’t stop eating this morning, so they might have a tummy ache later. Let the parent tell you that then gently guide them to knowing that you can take of it, and that you’ll be happy to see them when they pick their child up at the end of the day.

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