ONGOING, RECIPROCALTEACHER/PARENTCOMMUNICATION ANDINFORMATION SHARING FORINCLUSIVE GENERALEDUCATION TEACHERSJudith Laten, SPE 540: Family Centered PracticesArizona State University
Is this effective communication? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baZso0xm0PQ (Halloween 1125, ND) “Differences in expectations and misunderstandings about each other’s goals can lead to uncertain and tenuous, even contentious, relationships” (Risko, & Walker-Dalhouse, 2009).
Do you agree with these statements? “Effective two-way communication between teachers and families strengthen family involvement in their children’s education” (Hunt & Ratcliff, 2009, p. 502). “One of the greatest barriers to developing teacher-family partnerships is overcoming the negative attitudes associated with the subject that some educators possess” (Hunt & Ratcliff, 2009, p. 498).
What is wrong with this picture?Discussion: http://www.youtube.com/watch?How might the v=9hwDeD8hhn8school staff (TeachertubeSPED, 2009, October 23)and parentsavoid theapparent Family involvement is defined in manyproblems in ways. Professional educators need tothe future? build functioning reciprocal relationships with families where they do not exist. (Hunt & Ratcliff, 2009)
Ongoing, reciprocal teacher/parentcommunication is important because… “Family involvement that is based on a foundation of shared responsibility for learning on behalf of better outcomes for the child is critically important; this is reinforced by the research on family-school connections insofar as it shows that when families and schools connect, build a relationship, and communicate meaningful information, children do better in school” (Weiss, Bouffard, Bridglall, & Gordon, 2009, p. 21).
Why is this important to you asinclusive general education teachers? Motivation for learning increases Behavior improvesStudents Attendance becomes regular Benefit Positive attitudes about homework Consistency in home/school expectations Improved skills generalization
Why is this important to you asinclusive general education teachers? Increased awareness of value of their unique insights about their childParents Better understanding of effectiveBenefit strategies and interventions Feel valued and respected, leading to greater overall satisfaction with school experience
Why is this important to you asinclusive general education teachers? Better understanding of students’ needsTeachers Increased confidenceBenefit Positive interactions increase morale Friendships develop (American federation of Teachers, 2007)
Today you will…Read, identify, and discuss: Design and develop: Research about teacher/ Nonjudgmental parent communication statements Practices that encourage Positive statements that mutually beneficial two- way communication overcome negative between teachers and subject matter parents Institutional and individual communication
Two levels of communication betweenschools and families1. Institutional Communication School plan for communicating with all parents Plays, practices, PTO, open house, newsletters, calendars Potential to promote school-family relationships, but does not ensure strong school/parent partnerships Opportunity to let parents know how additional information will be shared with them throughout the year – newsletters, websites, parent liaisons, emails, etc.
Two levels of communication betweenschools and families2. Individual Communication Between teachers and parents involving a particular child Face-to-face: conferences, casual contacts Technology: phone calls, emails, notes, logs Strong potential for ongoing, mutual partnerships between parents and teachers (Halsey, 2005)
Types of individual communication Notebook, checklist, note, daily journal/agenda May be formatted: circle, check off, or short entry Caution – short entry may sound curt or harsh Phone calls Face-to-face visit Home visit Progress reports
Types of individual communication Digital portfolio Assess and document learning Communication offer “glimpse” into classroom Time intensive for teacher Not all parents have access to computer (McLeod & Vasinda, 2009)
Types of individual communication E-mail Asynchronous communication is more convenient Possible misinterpretation due to cue restrictions Restricts vocal and nonverbal cues State concerns about misrepresentation up front Focus on positive and factual statements Set limits and boundaries Studentreliance on backup plan may hinder responsibility Some topics better suited to phone or face-to-face (Thompson, 2009)
What do parents want? Use comments that do not “cause harm” May inadvertently convey personal biases and attitudes Make statements nonjudgmental Discuss specific behaviors: how they directly impact the child’s schooling Behaviors interfere with learning but are not “bad” Focus on improving home-school relationships. (Montgomery, 2005)
What do parents want? Timely notification of concerns about student problems Contributions recognized and appreciated by schools Direct communication, trust, respect, emphasis on common goal (Miretzky, 2004)
What do parents want? Smile, laugh, and enthusiastically share stories about funny things, successes, and developing interests noticed at school Speak positively, respectfully about child and family even among your peers (Boers, 2001; Rich, 1998)
What do teachers want? Trust, emphasis on common goal Timely notification of concerns Clarification of facts before parents accept student versions of concerning events Respect for training and experience Recognition of contributions and accomplishments (Miretzky, 2004)
Common themes begin to emerge Warmth, empathy, respect, genuineness, listening, goals of forming mutually beneficial partnerships and two-way communication Diminish perceived power imbalances resulting in polarization (Maring & Magelky, 1990; Risko & Walker-Dalhouse, 2009)
Keep it positive A first- Something positive about her child http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=fjh8yYCf4Is&feature=related (EarnedWisdom Tech, 2008) “For family members to believe that their thoughts and feelings are respected, teachers must engage in two- way communication with family members that is positive and supportive” (Hunt & Ratcliff, 2009, p. 499).
Positive commentsActivity sheet:Find positive, Give specific guidance for taking actionnonjudgmentalalternatives to Maintain the dignity of the childthe statementsin column one. State in informative mannerYou may usestatements in Overcome negative subject mattercolumn two ordevelop yourown. (Brualdi, 1998)
Tips for communicating with families http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=_16Dbekc30k&feature=related (TorrieatKIT, 2010, August 12)
What have we learned? Research supports ongoing, reciprocal communication between parents and schools. Inclusive general education teachers can practice institutional and individual communication to benefit students, parents, and teachers. Communication should be nonjudgmental and positive. We all want to be treated with respect, be recognized for our contributions, and…
References:American Federation of Teachers (2007). Readingrockets: Building parent–teacherrelationships. Washington, D.C.: American Federation of Teachers. RetrievedNovember 17, 2010 fromhttp://www.readingrockets.org/article/19308/?theme=printBoers, D. (2001). What I hope for in my children’s teachers: A parent’s perspective.The Clearing House, 75(1), 51-54.Brualdi, A. (1998). Teacher comments on report cards. Practical Assessment,Research & Evaluation, 6(5). Retrieved November 20, 2010, fromhttp://pareonline.net/getvn.asp?v=6&n=5EarnedWisdom Tech (2008, July 24). A first—Something positive about her child(Involving Pare [Video file]. Retrieved fromhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjh8yYCf4Is&feature=relatedHalsey, P. A. (2005). Parent involvement in junior high schools: A failure tocommunicate. American Secondary Education 34(1), 57-69.
Halloween 1125 (ND). School answering machine [Video file]. Retrieved November 16,2010 from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baZso0xm0PQHunt, G., & Ratcliff, N. (2009). Building teacher-family partnerships: The role of teacherpreparation programs. Education, 129(3), 495-505.Maring, G. H., & Magelky, J. (1990). Working with parents: Effective communication: Keyto parent/community involvement. The Reading Teacher, 43(8) 606-607.McLeod, J. K., & Vasinda, S. (2009). Electronic portfolios: Perspectives of students,teachers and parents. Educational Information Technology, 14, 29-38.Miretzky, D. (2004). The communication requirements of democratic schools: Parent-teacher perspectives on their relationships. Teachers College Record, 106(4), 814-851.Montgomery, D. J. (2005). Communicating without harm: Strategies to enhance parent-teacher communication. Teaching Exceptional Children, 37(5), 50-55.Rich, D. (1998). What parents want from teachers. Educational Leadership, May, 37-39.
Risko, V. J., & Walker-Dalhouse, D. (2009) Parents and teachers: Talking with or pastone another-or not talking at all? The Reading Teacher, 62(5), 442-444.TeachertubeSPED (2009, October 23). Parent school communication [Video file].Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hwDeD8hhn8Thompson, B. (2009). Parent-teacher e-mail strategies at the elementary andsecondary levels. Qualitative Research Reports in Communication, 10(1), 17-25.TorriatKIT (2010, August 12). Important interactions: How to communicate effectivelywith parents [Video file]. Retrieved fromhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_16Dbekc30k&feature=relatedWeiss, H. B., Bouffard, S. M., Bridglall, B. L., & Gordon, E. W. (2009). Reframingfamily involvement in education: Supporting families to support educational equity.(Equity Matters: Research Review No. 5: A Research Initiative of the Campaign forEducational Equity). Retrieved November 18, 2010, fromhttp://www.hfrp.org/publications-resources/browse-our-publications/reframing-family-involvement-in-education-supporting-families-to-support-educational-equity