Improving Communication

Improving Communication

This module emphasizes the value of communication between home and school that is ongoing, two-way and meaningful. It also points to communication as the foundation of solid partnerships and the fact that when parents and educators communicate effectively, positive relationships develop, problems are more easily solved and students make greater progress.

Click on the buttons below to begin with a self-assessment for communication practices in your school community. Each button is directly tied to practices, research, NM Teacher Competencies, videos and resources in English and Spanish.

Effective PracticesQuick Tips / Effective Practices

The goal of sharing information and building trusting relationships between school, families, and communities is reflected in the practices listed.

  • Ensure that all materials sent home are clear, user friendly, and presented in a way that all parents can read and understand.
  • Communicate in language that is jargon-free. Utilize translators as necessary.
  • Build policies and systems that support teachers in communicating frequently with parents about student goals, curriculum plans, expectations for homework, and how parents can support student learning.
  • Consider communication etiquette and taboos within the community.
  • Make it Positive: Teachers most often communicate with parents when the student misbehaves, yet parents also want to know when their child is doing well. This helps parents be more responsive to both positive and challenging needs that may need to be addressed.
  • Make it Practical: By helping parents understand the curriculum, they will be better able to support their child’s academic achievement. Make specific suggestions about what parents can do to help their child manage difficulties they are having with schoolwork and help them build their child’s strengths.
  • Make it Personal: Collaboration between parents and teachers is enhanced when parents read or hear something personal about their child. Include specific examples and be as detailed as possible.
  • Make it Accessible: By meeting families in their own natural environment, rather than only at the school, educators are seen as reaching out to families and acknowledging them as partners.
  • Use a wide variety of methods for reaching parents such as print form, email, phone, Facebook, TV, radio, newspapers, extracurricular events, and through parent centers.
  • Work to build the trust and confidence of parents through meet and greet opportunities near areas where students are dropped off and picked up, in the family center, and in classrooms.
    Put a chart or diagram of the school’s organization in the school handbook. Explain how and when parents can contact the principal, teachers, counselors, and other staff. Let them know step by step how to resolve an issue or concern.
  • Engage in the professional development opportunities throughout this module including a self-assessment, effective practices, research, resources in English and Spanish, videos and links to NM Teacher Competencies for Teachers.