We all want the best for students. Parents and teachers constantly fret over how they can do more to help them achieve more. Should we put them in a better school? Buy better equipment? These are just some of the questions parents ask themselves when it comes to education. There’s no doubt these are important questions. Sure, there’s no harm in buying better equipment. However, what might surprise people is that these things aren’t the most effective way to give students the best head start in life.
Communication is the most underestimated tool parents can use to make the most impact on their child’s education. The impact of improving channels of communication between parents and teachers is remarkable. It’s not just about improving academic performance. Communication can also impact a students’ social life, behaviour and overall happiness.
A Student's Attendance
The impact of teacher-parent communication becomes noticeable when a student regularly attends class. As more schools began forming parent engagement programs, students started showing greater attendance.
John Hopkins University conducted some interesting research on the relationship between communication and attendance. The results will surprise you. As schools began communicating with parents and engaging with them regularly, student absences reduced from 8% to 6.1%. Absence rates saw a decrease until absences became absent themselves!
Remarkably, this also applies to youngsters in grades K-5. A small improvement in communication can make a huge difference. Researches have found during an experiment, that changing the approach of communicating with parents led to reducing long-stretches of absences by 11%.
There could be many reasons for absences. But parents and teachers are capable of crafting a solution through communication.
A STUDENT'S SOCIAL SKILLS
Students who get along with their peers are reported to have been much happier overall. And they have better attitudes. Social skills, like any skill, come more naturally to some than others. It’s not all bad news for the more introverted amongst us though. Parental involvement can have a huge positive influence on developing and nurturing these skills.
Through communicating with parents, they begin to get a better sense of what areas their children find socially difficult. Even from a disciplinary perspective, taking time out to discuss with a parent can lead to a long-term solution.
Communication between parents and teachers can help students have a more fulfilling social experience. It could also address any behavioural problems. This creates an incredibly positive environment for students leading them to be excited about going to school.
A STUDENT'S PERFORMANCE
With attendance becoming regular, and students becoming more socially equipped, their academic performance begins to rise. Students are always learning, even when the bell rings and class is dismissed. Parents can be a big help with extending learning outside the classroom.
The Maine Education Policy Research Institute performed some intriguing research on the relationship between communication and academic success. Students can make great strides in academic performance when there’s more direct communication between parents and teachers. From simple acts of personalized welcome letters to collaborative parent-student homework, students showed a great deal of improvement in math and reading.
It can even be a bonding experience. You don’t have to go fishing on a lake to connect with your child. Communication can help parents understand their child better. It can help them understand where they need help and how they can help. They can understand their strengths and how to support them.
A Teacher-Parent Effort
Most educators agree that communication between schools and parents is a good thing. It impacts a student’s education in so many ways.Though building communication between parents can lead to many long-term benefits, how to start can be quite a challenge. Parent’s might have busy schedules. Some teachers might feel uncomfortable getting personal.
Maintaining communication can be a heavy task, especially if it’s personalized to each parent. It can be difficult to find an, end-all solution. In this day and age there are so many ways of communicating it can be hard to find what works for you. However taking a first step with some of these initial strategies can make a big difference.
At Springring we aim to bring together admin, teachers, parents, and students on a unified platform. Based on our experiences, we know how difficult it could be to stay on top of communication. We understand the hectic lives of teachers and parents. And them trying to stay connected. We all want what’s best for our children and students. We know that they come first. That’s what drives us.
At the end of the day, you never know where a simple hello can lead.