Question Detail

How can a new teacher promote parental engagement?

Apr 2, 2013 7:50pm

This question is designed for students of MAT 5320 (Univ. of Central Arkansas) but anyone is invited to share his or her thoughts!

Specifically, how can a new teacher assert himself or herself in such a way to promote positive interactions of parents while not being overrun by parents who might challenge his or her authority?

  • Other
  • Pre K-12
  • Engagement


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    • Apr 7, 2013 6:02pm

      A new preschool teacher can promote parental engagement by inviting parents to the room to help their child with a monthly art and crafts project related to a seasonal theme. Examples are listed:
      September - students will bring in items from a nature walk with their parents and the parents will then come to school and help their child make a collage with the materials
      October - parents come out to help the students make paper mache Halloween pumpkin
      November - the parents will come eat Thanksgiving lunch with their child
      December - the parents come to the Christmas party to take pictures of their child with Santa
      January - the parents come help their child make a 3-D snowman out of shaving cream and glue February - the parents come to the ice cream social for Valentine’s Day
      March - the parents come out to help up plant flowers in our class garden
      April - the parents come out to help with a track and field day
      May - the parents will come to our graduation ceremony

      • Apr 7, 2013 6:59pm

        Just as Christy has explained, I invite parents to come in often to help with projects, from peeling apples during the morning arrival time for our Johnny Appleseed celebration, to helping get slopped up with paper mache when we make landforms!

        Parents are so gracious to offer their time & talent in helping to accomplish fun cross-curricular activities when teachers request help!

        While they are in helping, they become familiar with your teaching style and climate of the classroom. After they've been in a few times, they feel like family!

        • Apr 11, 2013 8:31am

          I feel that you must be open and understanding to an array of different type of people when beginning teaching and or being a new teacher at a different school. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. I know that sounds cliché; however, it seems to work. If you are open and understanding the parents will look at you more of an asset on the "lets send Jimmy to college" team. If you are not open to them they look for reasons to get you out of the way because your a hinder to the child.

          Also regular communication with the parents for good news as well as bad is a great eye opener for the parents. This also makes them want to be more involved with you and their child's success. I have personally used this tip and every quarter or parent teacher conference I have more and more parents come to see me and want to be more involved.

          • Apr 12, 2013 8:52am

            A new teacher can promote parental engagement by having an open house night for parents before school starts. When meeting parents for the first time, and every time a teacher communicates with parents, teachers need to have a kind, friendly, caring demeanor. A teachers first impression for the parents is important when establishing a relationship with parents. During the open house, teachers can inform parents of different forms of acceptable communication between the parents and teacher. Some examples of acceptable communication are: Edline, e-mailing the teacher/parent any time, and phone calls. A letter will be sent home the first week of class explaining the rules, procedures, expectations, and communication avenues. Texting is another popular communication avenue for teacher and parents. The take home letter will include instructions for signing up for mass texts. Weekly/monthly newsletters and parent organizations within the school are other ways of keeping parents engaged.

            • Apr 13, 2013 12:25pm

              I will be a new teacher soon and I think that by helping the parents to see that you really care about their child and you want what's best for them, I think they will trust us more and trust what we say.

              • Jul 24, 2013 1:44pm

                When I start out as a new teacher, I hope to use a variety of ways to include parents in the activities and academics throughout the year. One of the first ways would be to have some times before school starts that the parents and students would be able to stop by and visit and get a feel for the kind of classroom their student will be in, as well as have a chance to meet the teacher before the first day of class. Another way would be to send home a weekly report about the students behavior and weekly progress. To ensure the parents receive it, I would have the parents sign and return the report. I would also send home a monthly newsletter telling the parents what all has gone on in the past month.

                • Apr 4, 2013 11:21am

                  I think that being strong and open are two qualities that new teachers need to assert himself or herself with parents. There is a fine line between being a strong person and being overbearing. By being open to parents you are showing that you have nothing to hide, after all these people trust you with their children and they will want to know everything about you. You need to send out some form of communication from day one saying who you are, what your beliefs are with regard to teaching and what parents can expect for their children. In that communication you need to present parents with someway they can communicate with you. By being proactive instead of reactive you will not have to face many of the problems that reactive teachers face. By being proactive you can identify problems before they become something serious.

                  • Apr 6, 2013 8:39am

                    I believe one way a new teacher can promote parental engagement is by keeping open communication between themselves and the parents. Offering various forms of communication (i.e. phone, email, face-to-face meetings, websites) will also help encourage parental involvement. I also think contacting parents throughout the semester (encouraging/positive notes) and getting them involved in their child’s work will encourage this. Another way a new teacher can promote parental engagement is making themselves available as much as possible. Offering several times throughout the school year outside of parent teacher conferences will help encourage this. I know not all parents work a normal schedule, so offering various times to meet with them when they are available will help encourage this as well. I believe establishing a “teamwork” type relationship and getting the parents excited about being involved with their child’s education at the very beginning of the school year will help keep them engaged.

                    • Apr 6, 2013 5:10pm

                      New teachers can promote parental engagement by having an inviting and welcoming presence about themselves. When teachers express the fact that they genuinely care about the educational obtainment and well-being of the student, parents should want to partner with the teacher. In regards to assertion, teachers must be confident and firm. It is imperative to establish order and structure at the beginning of the school year so that everyone knows their role. I believe that the key to diffusing a parent who may want to challenge a teacher is stressing teamwork and a collaborative effort. I would use reverse psychology and give that parent a task to aid in this effort :)

                      • Apr 6, 2013 5:53pm

                        A teacher can assert himself or herself in such a way to promote positive interactions of parents while not being overrun by parents who might not challenge his or her authority by beginning the conversation with a positive attitude and comment. It is important to begin communicating with parents from the first day of school to build a positive rapport with the parents. It is also important to communicate both positive and negative behaviors to the parent to keep the parent informed of how the child is doing in school. The teacher should also provide frequent feedback to the parents on how well the student is doing in their class. By doing all of these things, a positive relationship will be built with the parents. Therefore, the teacher will be able to assert themselves in such a way that the parents are open and willing to cooperate with the teacher.

                        • Apr 8, 2013 4:44pm

                          I will be a new teacher, & one way that I would assert myself to promote positive interactions is by sending home class rules to parents at the beginning of the year. Parents should be required to sign the form. This will serve as documentation that shows the parents are aware of my rules & consequences. It would also be beneficial to have an open house before school begins. I would talk about my background experience so parents will see that I am qualified. I would also express to them how I understand that their child is precious to them. I will pledge to work hard to make sure their child succeeds. Showing parents my compassion I have towards their children will create a strong relationship. They will be more likely to trust my decisions. It's also important to communicate throughout the year, so parents know about their child's progress. I think email is one of the best ways to do this. It allows you to have documentation that shows you're doing whatever you can to help your students succeed.

                          • Apr 8, 2013 8:32pm

                            Strong Families, Strong Schools, a report that reflects 30 years of research on family involvement in education, stated the sad fact that "in many instances parents don't feel as if we welcome them in school." So how do new teachers overcome this “sad fact”? They can put out the welcome mat! New teachers can create a school climate and structures that support family involvement. This can be an Invite to parents to help in the classroom or by initiating a classroom volunteer program. When communicating with parents on positive and neutral terms on numerous occasions, teachers can find opportunities to ask parents to share their concerns and opinions about school, and then address those concerns. The willingness of a teacher to ask, listen and address parent concerns shows their desire for positive interactions with parents as well as a confidence factor parents will be less likely to challenge.

                            • Apr 9, 2013 8:47am

                              In a secondary setting, I think the first point of contact is critical to establish that you as a teacher want to create a sense of community and partnership between the parents, students, and teachers. I think that students should be sent home with a letter the very first day of school so that parents know who this person is that will be standing in front of their student and teaching them things they (hopefully) will use in their daily lives. In that initial letter, parents need to be able to easily find information about you as the teacher, what your beliefs are, what you will be teaching, and your contact information. I think it is also important to include dates for parent teacher conferences in the letter. After the initial letter, it is the teacher's job to promote meeting the parents face to face to establish and continue the relationship between parents, students, and teachers.

                              • Apr 9, 2013 6:27pm

                                I think that the best way to approach this is a combination of making the parents feel comfortable with the teacher's rules and procedures and standing firm with those rules and procedures. In order to have this balance, I feel that the instructor needs to be able to explain the reasoning behind their rules and procedures to the parents and have confidence that their rules and procedures are effective. When the teacher has a firm belief that what they are enforcing in their class is the best approach overall for their students, then they most likely won't feel nearly as intimidated when they are questioned by parents. Also, when the teacher is able to give their reasoning for their rules and procedures in a way that gives the parents a feeling of confidence that their child will be in good hands and will be properly provided for, then the parents most likely will feel more positive about the teacher and their teaching philosophy.

                                • Apr 11, 2013 11:09am

                                  Much as with students, good parental engagement involves procedures and routines. Making contact at least once with all parents, perhaps at the beginning of the year over the course of a week, gives the opportunity to establish a longer lasting connection. This contact could involve phone calls, emails, letters sent home, or some combination. The important thing to get out of that first contact is an optimal mode of communication, whether it be text messages, email, or phone contact. Then, throughout the year, regular checkups could be made to the parents regarding their child. Perhaps every week you could select one student who has been doing well and one student who has been doing poorly and contact the parents to discuss their child’s progress. Regular weekly newsletters and social media updates could also contribute to these other modes of communication. Finally, you would want to contact parents right away if students did something exceptional.

                                  • Apr 11, 2013 7:29pm

                                    I am with Jayme on this. As a new teacher you need show that you are “hard nose” about school and your students. When I say hard nose I mean you are set firmly on the importance of learning. However a teacher needs to show respect for the diversity they connect too. The hard nose shows that you are sticking to your guns and you are going to do your best for your students, but the respects shows that you are open to new ways. The respect shows you are open to learn and to change if it benefits the students. These two points makes the parents feel they have a valuable word, but can’t come in and over run you.

                                    • Apr 11, 2013 8:18pm

                                      As a new teacher, be confident in your ability and know what your expectations are as far as classroom management and parental involvement. Use the open house in the beginning of the year to let parents know a little about yourself, your education and why you are a teacher. Tell the parents about how you would like for them to be involved- field trips, classroom parties, PTO, etc... Send out a weekly newsletter informing parents of learning objectives for the week, homework, tests, and other classroom news. Be proactive at reaching out to the parent if their child is having issues. Don't shy away from issues- team up with the parent to help the student. Be positive and encouraging with both parents and students. Focus on positive behavior first and them let the parent know about the students struggles and ask the parent for ideas.. Above all, let the parent know that you are there to educate and encourage their child for the school year and you want to team up with them to better serve their child.

                                      • Apr 12, 2013 11:34am

                                        One way a new teacher can promote parental engagement is by communicating regularly with parents, and not just be responding to email. I plan to initiate contact with parents on a regular basis, whether it be posts to a class Facebook page, emails or letters home, or phone calls. This will show parents that I am willing to have an open stream of communication, hopefully encouraging parents to initiate communication with me if they have a concern about their child. There will be some parents, however, who try to overstep their boundaries and enforce certain things that aren't within their power as a parents. I will always be honest with parents about their power in the classroom and my own. If it's an issue of safety or health, then I will absolutely do what I can to ensure a student's wellbeing, but if a parent has an issue with a certain teaching style, I will do my best to mediate that, likely with the support of an administrator.

                                        • Apr 12, 2013 4:46pm

                                          Effective communication is necessary for new teachers to promote parental engagement. It is important that teachers reach out to the parents and inform them of what is happening in their child’s education. Providing parents with different ways of communication such as email, face to face, phone, or written allows parents to feel a part of their child’s life. I think that one of the best ways of communication is written. It gives the teacher, parent, and school documentation in case there were to be a misunderstanding. Two great written forms of communication are newsletters and classroom calendars. Those documents can include different events happening at the school such as a parent night or in the community such as a free event at the local library. It would be beneficial to post written forms of communication to the class website or blog too.

                                          • Apr 12, 2013 7:17pm

                                            The teacher should always have consistent, open communication with the parents to let them feel like they are just as important as the students are. Parents who feel like they are included and cared about relative to their child's education are less likely to develop problems with the teacher. Teachers can invite parents to be involved with their child's education. Have them come in and observe the class or participate in activities. The parents may also come on field trips. I believe that sending a parent letter at the beginning of the year promotes a good parent-teacher relationship. Maybe its okay to even call parents every now and then and ask them if they have any questions or concerns. When the parents are involved and informed, a positive relationship will ensue. When parents are informed and know exactly what teachers are doing relative to their child's education, there will be less of a chance for any challenging of authority. Instead, the parents and teachers will work as a team.

                                            • Apr 13, 2013 12:18pm

                                              There may be assumptions that a green educator is synonymous with a bad one, but fear not! Having that stacked against you will only make your small victories in the classroom that much more significant. Note that my plan hinges upon parents having a clue as to their child's learning environment. Maintaining and cultivating lines of communication is a no-brainer. Make fun of yourself, heck, HAVE fun. The strategy I want to adopt to promote parental engagement is through art. Drawing, doodling projects need not be in an art class. Get to know you assignments such as the T-shirt idea Dr. Mills addressed earlier in the semester are fantastic projects. They're a) fun for the student, and b) incredibly visible. Thats simple advertising folks, you want to engage, make yourself visible, whether through stale emails, and paper handouts, or awesome t-shirt designs and doodles. What could go wrong?
                                              ... everything. thats what.

                                              • Apr 14, 2013 2:02pm

                                                A new teacher must first gain the trust and support of the parents. This of course is easier said than done but it can happen. An open house should be condicted within the first month on the new school year so thay parents and teachers alike can get acclimated with each other. During the open house, the new teacher can inform parents of their teaching styles and beliefs. The teacher can alsogai an understanding of what the parents expects of him/her. As the school year progresses, the parent and teacher can meet periodically to discuss the childs progress as well as interventions that may be needed to improve the childs classroom success. This will make for a collaborative effort between teacher and parent and will also allow for the teacher to maintain control while allowing the parent to have input.

                                                Parents should also be invited to participate in activites that have nothing to do with classroom learning such as field trips, plays and classroom celebrations to name afew.

                                                • Apr 21, 2013 5:29am

                                                  Ask for their help in assigning additional or appropriate outside reading assignments, getting them involved as invited speakers on a subject that the class and the parents have in common, keeping them informed of their child's progress, working on committing to further enhance the child's goals, and realizing that it is a partnership and collaborative effort, not an authoritarian one.

                                                  • Jun 14, 2013 8:28pm

                                                    As a new teacher parents can be very intimidating. It is important the teacher has a strong and positive first impression with parents. Teachers who can prove to parents they are invested in their child’s success, I believe will help carry on a positive rapport. Explaining to parents that the they are all working together on the same team, will help parents open up and be more willing to work with the teacher instead of against the teacher. Building a positive relationship at the beginning of the school year can reduce conflict between parents throughout the year. Most parents like to hear positive compliments about their child. Also, it is important for new teachers to be prepared and confident. A new teacher should be prepared for the best situation possible and the worst situation possible, chances are they will have to deal with both extremes. Teachers should always be confident in dealing with parents. It will not give parents doubt, or any reason to question the teacher. ]

                                                    • Jun 18, 2013 10:16am

                                                      Getting to know the parents beforehand could be a great help. A meet and greet before school starts could be an option to welcome students and parents to his/her classroom. After the initial meeting, new teachers can begin setting up one on one appointments with parents and students. Many schools have different policies. The schools I have subbed at often do parent days, where parents come in and eat with students or help out around the school. This is popular among elementary school, however, I do not think it will bode so well with middle-high school. In this case, meet and greets and one on one with parents would be the best option. Giving parents access to your personal blog or website is another great option; rules, procedures, assignments, events, and so on will be displayed for every parent to see. I also think it is a good idea to use GoogleVoice to give out your phone number. This will give parents and students a direct line to you in case of an emergency or questions.

                                                      • Jun 18, 2013 6:34pm

                                                        I plan on being a middle school teacher so I hope to get off on the right foot with parents. I would like to offer to meet with my student's parents before school starts. I know in Elementary schools they still offer this but not so much any more in secondary schools. This way the parents and the students can meet me, get comfortable with my classroom, and it will also give them a chance to bring any supplies ahead of time to class. I think this provides a great opportunity for parents to be able to ask questions or voice any concerns ahead of time. I also think it's important to keep in contact with parents frequently throughout the school year. I know if the Fayetteville school district students take planners home every night and require parents to sign them. This would be a great opportunity just to write a little note in their planners on any information you might want to inform them about.

                                                        • Jun 19, 2013 6:43am

                                                          I as a new teacher, I feel that parental involvement can be established, by opening up the classroom for parent volunteers and by using your classroom to reach the community. Most people will not just show up and do something with out being asked. We cannot expect our parents to come into the classroom without them feeling like they are wanted. Sending a parent note at the beginning of the school year to express need and invite them to serve. Have a school club night and invite the parents on social media! Contact your PTO for more help. Plan a service activity for the community; plan specific activities where parent must help and contact them and schedule them to work. Make the parents feel they are very important to the success of the service activity. If they feel wanted the will come!

                                                          • Jun 19, 2013 7:17pm

                                                            Participating in an open house before the start of a school year is a wonderful idea to start communication with parents off on the right foot. It is a proactive way to introduce yourself, your expectations, and your policies regarding a number of things. It gives parents a chance to ask any questions they might have and may also give the teacher a chance to assess what information would be helpful sending home in their "Welcome to my class" letter. Establishing avenues of communication in a proactive manner instead of reactive would be a positive influence on the relationship between a new teacher and the parents of their students. Showing a confident approach to communication with them will stem the tendency of some parents to overstep or become confrontational concerning the classroom boundaries. Allowing them to be involved in the classroom, but defining the parameters in a way that promotes the best atmosphere for learning is essential in building good rapport with the parents of students.

                                                            • Jun 20, 2013 11:14am

                                                              I think having an open house a few days before the start of the new school year is very important. This will give you an opportunity to explain to the parents about your teaching methods and to help them with any questions that they may have. You can also provide them with information on how they can reach you in case they have any questions or concerns in the future. It's important to let them know the hours you are available to talk with them, (i.e., before or after school), a number and email address where you can be reached, and a website that they can access that provides classroom information. Let them be aware that their concerns are important to you and that you will always make time for them.

                                                              • Jun 20, 2013 12:02pm

                                                                As a parent, I have always enjoyed getting a personal phone call from the teacher before school begins to let me know how excited they are to have my child in class. This is a good time for parents to share any concerns or ask any questions that they might not feel comfortable doing on parent orientation night. Also,giving an open invitation for parents and students to stop by the classroom sometime during the week prior to school starting is a great idea. The teacher can let the parents know when she will be at school setting up the room so parents can bring their child by to meet the teacher. These two opportunities can make a parent feel like they are getting special treatment from the teacher. If they feel like you are excited to have their child in class, then you have started off the year on a positive note. As the year progresses, there will be several other opportunities to interact with the parents, but that first impression is most important.

                                                                • Jun 20, 2013 12:46pm

                                                                  I plan to invite the parents to open classroom night. I will provide refreshments, like cookies and lemonade and tell them a little about myself. I will also go over classroom rules and procedures. I will explain some of the topics that we will cover during the year, and my student expectations. I will try to reassure them that I truly care about their children. I think parents need to hear that from teachers, to help ease their mind and maybe promote positive parent-teacher interactions. I will make sure to share my contact information with the parents and invite them to share any concerns with me. I think being proactive and keeping the parents informed will make for a great school year.

                                                                  • Jun 20, 2013 10:59pm

                                                                    I think a great way for a new teacher to introduce oneself to parents or guardians is to have an open house during the first week of school. This way parents can do a meet and greet. Also, it provides the teacher time to explain the rules and procedures of his/her classroom. Parents will have a chance to ask questions and find out ways to contact the teacher. The open house will show parents that the teacher is wanting to open the door and prove the dedication they will have teaching their children. An open house would be a great way for a new teacher to introduce themselves to not only the parents but the community.

                                                                    • Jun 21, 2013 5:24am

                                                                      For less involved parents, an idea could be having an open-house type event throughout the school year. My incentive to come would be to create a rotating college theme night. It's very simple to call recruiters and create tri-folds with college information and scholarship ideas. An invitation to parents would show the genuine interest that I have for the students' success; that I care about their success overall and not just my classroom. When parents talk about college, the conversation will automatically go towards the student's classroom success.
                                                                      For parents who might question my classroom authority, I can clearly explain my rules and procedures. If there are any questions or concerns I will let them know all the ways they may contact me. I see parents as a steps-approach. If the parent has an issue, they can contact me via phone or email, if a problem still persists let's meet face-to-face, the last resort for me would be getting administrators involved.

                                                                      • Jun 21, 2013 7:24pm

                                                                        I think a great way to promote parental engagement would be to enlist the parents to join in group email. Keeping the parents informed and involved in their child's projects, grades, and behavior through email will bring everyone closer. It will also promote a positive attitude about the teacher from the parents. This open communication will also promote a healthy classroom. Students will be more likely to do assignments when parents are constantly notified of them. Anything that strengthens the classroom environment will always be a positive. It's important to save copies of each email in case any parents want to bring it to administration.

                                                                        • Jun 22, 2013 10:54am

                                                                          Here are some of my thoughts… I think for starters, a teacher should dress and carry themselves professionally. And they should "dress up" and "carry" their digital and written communications with the same amount of professionalism. Professionalize is key to your credibility as a new teacher.
                                                                          Also, do school-specific research. Learn as much as you can about the administration and teachers in your department (especially their names and titles). Also, read the school handbook thoroughly. Research the previous year’s test scores. Read the files on your students. Knowing these will help you establish credibility with parents.
                                                                          Lastly, listen to parents attentively and show genuine concern for their children and their children’s needs. If you love their children and have their success as your top priority and the parents know this, it goes a long way. Interact with and compliment their children in front of their parents.

                                                                          • Jun 22, 2013 1:23pm

                                                                            Use whatever avenue is available to communicate with parents before the school year, I don't know about this yet. First impressions, get a positive message out , an invitation to come to the school, convey different avenues of contacting you. Initiate communication and be diligent at the beginning of school to build a relationship with parents, get to know their concerns, ask about their children in your class, get their perspective and insights. Find out about past likes and dislikes they had of previous teachers. Clearly define your curriculum and classroom procedures and let them know that your objective is to help and educate their child. Keep them updated and be available.

                                                                            • Jun 23, 2013 10:33am

                                                                              I think one if the keys to parental involvement is to present a united front. The parents need to know that you share similar goals when it comes to their child's education. Always be open to the parents' suggestions, they need to feel heard and validated. They need to feel that they are involved in their child's education. I believe that a parent would be much less likely to challenge a teacher's authority if they feel that they are part of the same team. Get to know your student's parents, find what they are doing at home with the child, be interested in what goes on in the child's life outside the school day. Also give the parents multiple opportunities throughout the year to come to the school and see what their child is doing, chances to interact with the teachers and staff, they are more likely to trust you with their child as they get to know more about you as a teacher. Education is a team effort, and all of the players need to be on the same playing field.

                                                                              • Jun 23, 2013 3:21pm

                                                                                As a new teacher to a school district I foresee that it will be of most importance that the parents understand that I care deeply for their child's success in the classroom. Before day one of the school year I will make it a priority to contact each student's family by either a post card, email, or phone call. I want the parents to know from the beginning the commitment that I am making to their child. I will initiate an open door policy and encourage all parents to feel free to communicate with me at any time, whether the circumstance is positive or negative. I would also like to welcome parents to get involved in whatever way they can. This may mean that each week we have a guest parent (or family member) speak to our class and enlighten the students with some educational or community involvement that a particular family is passionate about. Welcoming diversity in my classroom is my motto!

                                                                                • Jun 23, 2013 5:22pm

                                                                                  I believe that the most important thing a new teacher can do is be prepared, be positive and be professional because nothing shows you care more then this. On open house night is your room prepared to receive your students and their parents? Does it say, this is a safe, organized and stimulating learning environment? Does my attire and my demeanor say, I am a professional, who is looking to help your child succeed? You can never get a second chance at first impressions, so the new teacher want to step back and consider what a parent is seeing, when they meet you for the first time.

                                                                                  I also like the earlier post about following the school and district policy; adhering to establish rules that other team members are using. These rules have been tested and hopefully, proven to work. I believe most people, who become teachers, want to help young people reach their greatest potential, but if you rock the boat too much, you're likely to get thrown overboard!

                                                                                  • Jun 23, 2013 8:27pm

                                                                                    I think that having a parent-teacher meeting at the beginning of the year is a great way to begin interacting with parents and to assert oneself as a competent teacher. A new teacher may not have a lot of classroom experience, which some parents may see as a weakness or lack of knowledge in the subject taught. A well-prepared, professionally conducted meeting can help dissuade parents from this notion. The teacher can offer a detailed explanation of the curriculum for the year, an overview of classroom procedures, and guidelines for how the students progress will be assessed. In addition, the teacher can give a brief verbal resume emphasizing not only teaching experience, but also experience in the subject taught. The teacher can also make him/herself available for conferences throughout the year.

                                                                                    • Jun 24, 2013 7:19am

                                                                                      I think the best way to accomplish this would be to encourage parental involvement. Not only does that make your job as an educator much easier, it gives parents the (correct!) sense that you are all on the same team and working toward a common goal. Having parents helping with classroom projects will also give them insight into your teaching style, what you’re teaching in class, and your expectations of their child. Some parents may prove difficult to reach, but I believe that most would appreciate a teacher who is genuinely interested in their child's well-being. Parents who are uncooperative or who take issue with something that is happening in the classroom could possibly change their minds if you just sit down with them and have a conversation in which you each discuss what you hope their child does in your class. You're bound to find common ground. Then you can work on a plan together that will help you accomplish your common goals.

                                                                                      • Jun 24, 2013 7:39am

                                                                                        It's all about how you communicate to the parents. If you approach your first year with that "dear in the headlights" look to you, then parents are going to see that as a sign of weakness and they will not respect your authority. Make the parents feel comfortable with you in their child's classroom. The more capable they believe you are, the more they will respect your authority. The first communication with the parents is very important. It sets the tone for further communication. I believe that if you have the success of their child in the forefront of your mind at all times, then you will have nothing to worry about in terms of parents trying to challenge your authority. Be prepared to explain the rules and procedures to the parents and the purpose behind everything you do. It is important to be stern in what you believe as well as open and respectful of what each parent has to say. At the end of the day, you are both working towards the success of the child.

                                                                                        • Jun 24, 2013 10:28am

                                                                                          The week before school starts, I invite parents and their children to come meet me and see our classroom. This gives us time to communicate and get to know each other and what is expected from everyone.

                                                                                          In our preschool, we have some sort of activity at the end of every week to celebrate us learning a new letter and number. This gives parents and other family members the chance to show off their talents or just get involved with the school and be with their children.

                                                                                          By having these opportunities to interact, I do not seem to have many that try and challenge me or my teaching style. I am willing to talk and work out what I can with any parents. If I can't seem to fix the issue, I suggest they talk with the principal or our preschools lead teacher.

                                                                                          • Jun 24, 2013 11:32am

                                                                                            Being a high school teacher I'm finding it a little difficult come up with creative ideas about how to positively incorporate parents. By the time children get to high school, the parents have taken a less involved approach with their children's school work. One thing I thought of is to invited parents to come to class on lab days. A few parents could come every lab, and, by the end of the year, every parent will have an opportunity to come learn with their student several times.

                                                                                            • Jun 24, 2013 3:35pm

                                                                                              I would have my students bring home a daily agenda notebook each week that can include their classwork, progress reports, a class newsletter and event calendar. I can exchange email addresses with parents. I can develop a class websites. I will use the site to display student work, announce class news and invite parents to class events. I would like to establish a comfortable place in the classroom, I will provide sample textbooks and videotapes. I may even want to have a small library of children's books to encourage parents and kids to read stories together. I will have a education fair displaying my students work to encourage parents to come. I will serve food, silent auctions, and have door prizes to encourage parent attendance. I will make phone calls to parents, keeping parents informed of what's happening in my classroom. I like to include an activity parents can do with their child at home, one that reinforces what we're learning in class.

                                                                                              • Jun 24, 2013 6:23pm

                                                                                                A teacher can promote parental engagement by making them feel comfortable in their classroom. Start off the year having an open house, allowing the teacher to meet and greet not only the family and guardians but other parents and children from their future class as well. This first meeting will want to set a positive tone for the upcoming year. The teacher will need to ensure that all parents have regular access to clear, concise, and easily readable information about their children's school and classroom. Also the teacher will need to ask the parents to help them as full partners in their child’s education.

                                                                                                • Jul 18, 2013 9:11pm

                                                                                                  I think that a new K-2 teacher can promote parental engagement by first expressing the importance of parental support and its effect of their child's academic success at a parent orientation meeting at the first of the year. After that, teachers should ensure that at least once a month, parents are invited to the classroom for participation in such things as Halloween, Christmas, or Valentines Day parties. Celebration of the 100th day of school could also fall into this category. Thanksgiving dinners, "invite your parent to lunch" days are other options. Field trips or allowing a parent to read to the class every Friday are other great way to involve parents in the classrooms.

                                                                                                  I remember my parents coming into the classroom (at least one a week) to act as a teacher's aide. These parents would assist with activities and projects, much like a teacher would. A postive from this is that parents can see teachers in practice and use these strategies at home, better serving their students as learners.

                                                                                                  • Jul 21, 2013 5:03pm

                                                                                                    I think that a way for new teachers to keep parental engagement positive would be to keep the lines of communication open. It is necessary for a teacher to be available to the parents at reasonable times and possibly stay after school often in case parents need to stop by. I think that availability is a huge plus. I also think that a way to keep parental engagement is to keep them in the know. If something is going on with their child, share it with them. They are the parent and they honestly do know the child the best. It is important to do this so that the parent knows you respect their opinion as well.

                                                                                                    • Jul 22, 2013 1:55pm

                                                                                                      I believe the best way to promote parental engagement with a new teacher is to begin contacting the parents before schools starts. Many schools have an "open house" event before school starts. If the parents and students do not show up to this I would be sure to contact them by phone. It is important to let your parents know that you are excited to meet them and their child. I also like the idea of having a meeting or cookout before school starts to get to know your parents on a common ground. This also allows the parents to ask questions and get to know you, so they will feel comfortable sending their child to you daily.

                                                                                                      • Jul 23, 2013 12:45pm

                                                                                                        As many have said, I think the best way to promote parental involvement is by good communication and simply showing compassion. Good communication starts BEFORE school starts, and continues throughout the year. It does not only happen when their child has a problem, but is continuous. I think it is best to be open and honest with parents about rules, expectations, philosophies, etc. that way they know from the beginning what to expect. I think it's important to meet each parent & to show them that their child is not just another student to you, but a special individual. I also think it's a great idea to ask parents to volunteer, that way they know you want them to around! If a problem comes up where parents are questioning your authority, I think it is important to remember never to be angry or get upset in front of a parent - always be professional. I would document the problem and if it persists, let an administrator know.

                                                                                                        • Jul 23, 2013 8:46pm

                                                                                                          My initial thought is to have things set up ahead of time. By being sure of what I am doing and have it well planned out there is less chance for a parent to challenge my authority or overrun me. I will invite the parents to help with things, but have an itinerary of what they are to do ready for them. Parents are not as likely to overrun the teacher when they see that the teacher has control of the class, that the children know what is expected of them, and there is a plan or reason for everything.

                                                                                                          • Jul 24, 2013 2:10pm

                                                                                                            As most people have already stated, open and honest communication with the parents is vital. Parents (who are truly concerned for the well being of their child) want to know what is going on with their child at school. School and play are the child's primary role and occupation. They spend a majority of their time in this setting; therefore how their child progresses is very important. A teacher shouldn't be intimidated to communicate with an adult in regards to a child if there are areas of concern. The teacher just needs to inform the parent in a delicate manner and in a concerned demeanor, not an accusatory or hateful manner. Administration is always there to support the teacher if need be, but most parents and the teacher want the best for the student and can handle to situation in a mature calm fashion. The teacher needs to make themselves available to the parents (within reason) via internet page, a google voice number, email or some other method. Parent teacher conferences are always helpful but they don't occur as often as they should; therefore extra meetings with the parents if need be would be a good way to show concern and care about the child. I know I will want my students to succeed; therefore it is my job to be their advocate for them. Communication can also come in forms of friendly emails of praise, reminders, updates, news or whatever. It shouldn't only occur when there is a problem.

                                                                                                            • Jul 24, 2013 8:52pm

                                                                                                              At the beginning of the year the teacher can reach out to the parent positively. I would continue these positive interactions throughout the year. The teacher can send updates of assignments and projects to get the parent involved out of the classroom. The teacher can also invite the parent to PTA meetings, parent-teacher conferences, and other school events. I would always stay supportive of the parent and not defensive. Also I would stress the importance of the teacher-parent partnership to the parent. This partnership creates dual support for the student, at home and at school. It also models positive social interactions between adults which is necessary for social develop. Parents care about their child and should be willing to work with you in some way throughout the year.

                                                                                                              • Jul 25, 2013 1:14pm

                                                                                                                There are a variety of ways as a new teacher i can promote parental engagement. I plan to have a conference with each family before each school year begins to introduce myself to the parents and child. I plan to give a brief explanation of what will be learned over the year, class guidelines, and my contact information. I plan to keep parents informed of their child's behavior weekly through behavior reports. I can ensure that these reports will be read by the parents by having them sign them and return them with their child. I will also provide progress reports to let the parents know how their child is doing academically periodically as well. I plan to have a monthly email to send to the parents that will include a newsletter of important things that the students did over the past month, as well as a calendar of important events for the next month. In the calendar of events i plan to note birthdays ad school events. In the first newsletter, i will tell parents that they are welcome to schedule a time for a party for their child and are welcome to come during that time. I will also inform parents that they are welcome to come on school field trips and school events. I want parents to feel like they have a specific purpose in promoting their child's education through their engagement with me and school activities.

                                                                                                                • Jul 25, 2013 5:37pm

                                                                                                                  I think a great way to interact with parents and show them that you have their child's best interest in mind is by being open with them and to have clear communication. Teachers need to make sure that they are open and honest with parents up front, so that the parents can feel like they trust them and can come to them with any issues. I think that teachers should have an "open door policy" for parents, as long as the boundaries are clear. By this, I mean that parents should not just be able to show up whenever, but rather schedule appointments. Teachers can also show open communication through emails or weekly and monthly newsletters to keep them up to date on what's going on in the classroom. Teachers also need to communicate with the parents even if the parents never approach them. A simple email or phone call to let them know how their child is doing could really make a parent feel involved and like the teacher really has a true interest in their child. My biggest suggestion is that teachers should make "rules and procedures" for the parents as well so that the boundaries can be clear up front. Just a simple note to say what they expect from parents and how to keep them involved without being overbearing can let the parent know what the teacher's expectations are.

                                                                                                                  • Jul 25, 2013 8:25pm

                                                                                                                    As a new teacher, I have a lot of hopes and ideas. Regarding parental involvement and rapport, I feel it's essential to establish a good working relationship. I hope to send out a welcome letter to all parents inviting them to come by and meet me and see the classroom. This will be an informal meeting while I am getting the classroom set up and ready. I hope to get to know them a little and vice versa. I will share the rules and procedures for the class and what I expect of their child. I will express to them how important communication between teacher and student, student and parent and teacher and parent. I will let them know that they can contact me at anytime via text or email. Also, we can arrange a private meeting if necessary throughout the year to discuss any problems or issues. I want them to feel like they can contact me and I can contact them. I will explain to them that I will send out any behavioral problems with their child and see if we can come up with a way to resolve the situation. My main goal will be to let them know that I want to work as a team to help their child succeed academically and in life.

                                                                                                                    • Jul 26, 2013 8:27am

                                                                                                                      The main thing to remember is why you want the parents involved in the first place. Of course, the answer is for the sake of the student. You want the parent’s involvement to enrich the student’s education. With that in mind, I think the best thing to do is have activities for the parents to have fun and even to participate, not to “observe”. What do I mean by that? Plan, prepare, and make an effort to involve parents. Be in charge of your meetings by having all the information to give to them, not waiting on them to ask you questions. Entertain their mind by telling them the interesting activities they can expect throughout the year. For instance, plan a meet-and-greet night for the parents and students to meet you, get a feel for the layout of the campus (especially important for first-year students such as kindergarten, first-year middle school, and first-year high school), and even meet the other students and parents from your class. Serve some simple refreshments and have some flyers for them to look at and take home. I would be prepared to answer some questions about yourself, such as where did you go to school, how long have you been teaching, etc. But also be prepared to know where and how to draw the line or change the subject if questions come up that you don’t want to answer or aren’t prepared to answer yet (e.g. personal questions or “you don’t plan on teaching that new-age mumbo jumbo, do you?). Have your classroom completely prepared so the students and parents can explore it together. Display some upcoming fun events on the bulletin board, such as experiments. Have plenty of things to show-off to the new students and their parents. Do this from the very beginning, whether it is the week before school or the first week of school. It is important to make a good, strong first impression. After that, it is important to keep building a good relationship. Have the students participate in making a bulletin board showcasing to the parents what you’ll be learning in the upcoming month. Invite the parents to come check out the bulletin board, whether by email, classroom website, or even postcards if it is in your budget. To make sure you have plenty of positive face-to-face meetings, you could also plan a parent’s night once every nine-week term. You could display pictures of the students learning in the classroom and create a bulletin board of things learned last semester and those things upcoming. Depending on the class and the turn-out, you could even arrange for the students to show experiments (like the science fair) or put on a little skit. It could be more of an event that would give the students and parents both something to be proud about and a reason for being there (for those parents that might not look forward to spending extra time at their child’s school). You could also display on the bulletin board pictures of visitors from the last semester. This could be professionals, but hopefully a lot of parents would come volunteer during the class. Plan a day for parents to come when you can keep them busy and make sure the lesson is something they can participate in. Involve parents often and keep them busy!

                                                                                                                      • Jul 27, 2013 7:02pm

                                                                                                                        As a new teacher, I have thought a lot about parent involvement. As many have mentioned it is important to keep the parents involved and being open and honest about their child. I will be teaching kindergarten and I know these parents wants the best for their child. From the moment the parents drop their student off, I need to make sure that both parents and students feel welcomed in our class. Another way to promote parent involvement is to have parent volunteers to come into the classroom and read to the students and help students. It would be a good idea to have a "Room Mom or Dad" that can help with parties, etc. In addition, making sure parents are aware of what their child is doing by providing a daily or weekly progress report. Another way is to assure the parents that as a teacher I have to best interest of both their child and them and I respect input, however I have to do what is best for the harmony of the classroom. I feel that parents of Kindergarten students as the most involved parents.

                                                                                                                        • Jul 28, 2013 9:33pm

                                                                                                                          I feel that by being proactive, available, and clear in the definition of roles and boundaries, a new teacher can assert himself/herself in a positive way without being a push over.
                                                                                                                          Being proactive means communicating sincere care, concern and excitement during the first impression. It’d be great to do so through a meet and greet prior to the start of the semester, but provisions (phone calls/emails/social media) can and should be made for parents with unavoidable commitments so that they know how serious you are about your job and their child’s learning experience.
                                                                                                                          Being available creates the sense that you are part of a team invested in their child’s success. When you encourage communication through a variety of avenues, it is yet another way of showing how serious you are about your involvement in the student’s education.
                                                                                                                          Clear definitions of roles and boundaries provide clarification of the parties’ involvement and how they can work together. I see this expressed sometimes in the syllabus, communicating what the teacher does for the student on a daily basis and how parents can assist. But perhaps if parents received a separate notification or meeting that clearly defines the role of the teacher and how, with their parental involvement, we can work as a team for their student, there will be fewer challenges to the teacher’s authority. The key is to be specific and clear, with support from school policies/handbooks.

                                                                                                                          • Jul 29, 2013 6:01am

                                                                                                                            A new teacher can promote positive parental engagement by being available for communication, being confident in himself and his teaching techniques, and by being respectful of all students and parents. The first piece is simply being available: providing clear channels of communication with parents and students. If possible, he should be available for an open house or meet and greet prior to the start of school and get to know the parents. It is especially important for a new teacher to display confidence. It should be made clear that he is in control of the classroom and the learning that needs to take place. Equally important is that he does this respectfully. In order for the relationship to be maintained in a positive way, students and parents need to understand that the teacher is genuinely concerned with the good of the student, and not just being in control.

                                                                                                                            • Jul 29, 2013 8:17am

                                                                                                                              A few days before school starts there is an afternoon where students are allowed to come drop off their supplies and meet their teachers. As a new teacher I will talk to parents about the variety of ways that I will maintain regular communication with them. I will also have a suggestion sheet for any suggestions that the parents have on ways to communicate. I will encourage parental engagement in our classroom from the first day. I will be very open to suggestions it being my first year. I will remind them that we as a class can grow together during this exciting school year. If a parent has a complaint or tries to challenge my policies or an issue, I will openly listen and engage administration to help only if that is necessary. I think the first year will be the toughest year. However as the year progresses I think parental engagements both positive and negative will help you grow as an educator.

                                                                                                                              • Jul 29, 2013 10:14am

                                                                                                                                I believe that a new teacher can promote parental engagement, a positive environment, and keep the parent / teacher relationship boundaries by being straight forward with the parents and students. At the beginning of the year I would introduce myself and communicate what is expected of the students. I would share the rules and consequences with the parents and I would encourage parental feedback. I believe one reason teacher / parent conflict arises is because of miscommunication. I will not rely on students taking information to their parents for me. I will need to earn the parent’s trust and I will do that by interacting with parents through student folders, emails, phone calls, and the class web page. The more information I share with the parents, the more they will feel involved in their child’s education. Hopefully, my openness will demonstrate to parents that I am here to help their child and to be fair throughout the class.

                                                                                                                                • Jul 29, 2013 8:19pm

                                                                                                                                  I believe the best way to promote parental engagement as a new teacher is have an open, honest and frequent contact with parents. Communication breeds trust and having the parents’ trust is crucial in having positive parent teacher interactions. A new teacher who encourages parental involvement, shows his/her bona fides to her students and their parents, and does his/her best for the improvement of the students can promote positive interactions with the parents in a school year. As the teacher of future, I am well aware of the fact that I am not only supposed to contact with the parents when their kids do well or poorly in my class. I think parents should be also informed about the classroom activities that take place as well as upcoming exams their children should be prepared for. Setting classroom rules and procedures that comply with school and district policies helps a new teacher to maintain his/her authority and credibility which some challenging parents may want to shake. As long as a teacher has the support of the administration by his/her side, any potential and foreseeable complications with challenging parents can be resolved on time and easily.

                                                                                                                                  • Jul 2, 2014 6:30am

                                                                                                                                    I'm a firm believer in creating rapport not only with the students, but with the parents as well. I think it is important for a new teacher to invite the parents to their classroom so that they can meet, converse, and interact with one another as well as with the students. This not only allows everyone to become acquainted, but allows the teacher to demonstrate to the parents how their classroom will be conducted. This is also a great time to ask parents to become classroom volunteers so that they are constantly involved and aware of what is going on with their child. They may want to volunteer in a number of capacities such as parent helper of the day or organizing a holiday party. It is just important to get and keep the parents involved throughout the school year. Also when interaction like this is created early in the school year it creates a relationship between the parent and teacher and builds a foundation for them to discuss any issues that might occur during the school year. It also forces not only the student, but the parent and teacher to be responsible for the education of the student in a cooperative way.

                                                                                                                                    • Jun 21, 2013 6:23pm

                                                                                                                                      It is imperative to have open communication among parents and teacher. I think a new teacher will need to assert confidence and be readily available for questions. The teacher needs to show that he/she is open to the concerns of the parents and ease those concerns during their first meeting. There will be “bossy” parents and “passive” parents. A teacher will need to be able to read the parent and handle them accordingly. I think finding ways to meet the parents at open house, school events, or outside functions will help create lasting relationships. Although a new teacher may not connect on a personal basis with every parent, it is essential to have a good first impression. The teacher should go over classroom rules and policies to the concerned parent(s).Once you have defined yourself to the parents, it is necessary to stand your ground so that your authority is not challenged. I believe that all things will need to be balanced in order to create a positive atmosphere.