Educators: Teacher attributes that parents like most

Why do some teachers get along well with parents … and others don’t? Research points to several personal attributes that have a positive influence on teachers’ relationships with both parents and students: warmth, openness, sensitivity, flexibility, reliability and accessibility. Parents say that these teacher characteristics are also desirable: trust, closeness, positive self-image, effective classroom management,[…]

Educators: For character education programs to count, parents and teachers must work together

Most schools strive to turn out responsible citizens—people who not only know how to read, write and compute, but are guided by basic moral and ethical principles. To help instill these principles, schools implement character education programs. Perhaps the most successful programs have at least two things in common: They focus on students’ moral development,[…]

Educators: Make an extra effort to reach your hard-to-reach parents

There is no single profile of a hard-to-reach parent. One might be a recent immigrant struggling to manage language barriers and transportation issues. Another might be a single mom who has difficulty arranging for child care. Yet another might be a busy professional whose long hours and hectic schedule leave little time for anything else.[…]

Educators: Get parents engaged with interactive homework assignments

When parents are interested and actively involved in their child’s homework assignments, that child is more likely to complete the assignments, and also to complete them successfully. Interactive homework assignments offer a great opportunity for parents to get involved.   Following are some research-based findings about interactive homework. When you make such assignments: Provide opportunities[…]

Educators: Grow parent engagement with a school learning garden

  Learning gardens are experiencing a surge in popularity in schools. It makes sense—they’re a great way for kids to learn, and they don’t need to take up much space (Some schools even dedicate a corner of the cafeteria to a “garden” in a window box!) Studies have shown that school learning gardens significantly increase[…]

Educators: Simple gifts tell parents they’re appreciated

Parent volunteers have helped you all year long. Now it’s time to express your appreciation. Here are some inexpensive gift ideas and suggestions for an accompanying thank-you note: A key-chain flashlight. “You helped our students shine!” A picture magnet. Put a thank-you note where the photo is usually placed. A measuring spoon set. “You helped[…]

Educators: Making values work

Parents are sometimes concerned when a school mentions teaching values. The first thing a school needs to do is to clarify that the values to be addressed are “universal” ones—values that transcend all cultures and religions, such as: caring, cooperation, honesty and moral courage. At a minimum, a values education program should focus on two[…]

Educators: Use Registration Time to Encourage At-Home Learning

As parents register their children for school, give them some parent handouts that emphasize the importance of learning at home. You might have several handouts available so parents can choose from topics such as: Ways to promote reading at home. Reading lists for various grade levels. Math activities to enjoy at home. Setting up a[…]

Educators: What Parents Want From Teacher Conferences

Parents want more than just “surface information” from teachers during parent-teacher conferences. Parents might be interested in test scores and attendance records. But they also want to delve deeper into their children’s school life. They want to know if their children are happy in school and how they interact with other students and adults. For[…]

Educators: Older Students More Likely to Have Single Parents

Parents of adolescents are more likely to be divorced, single or remarried than are parents of elementary school children, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Middle schools and high schools need to pay special attention to meeting the needs of single parents, and also to keeping both parents informed about their children’s education. Activities[…]