Consistent, honest communication is the main key to building effective relationships with parents. And building those relationships should be a top goal of every Montessori school. Parents, along with other guardians and caregivers, have an undeniable impact on how well children do in school and we can’t afford to underestimate their role. While you’re working to establish a good relationship between the school and parents, it’s important to remember you’re building this relationship for a reason. Stay focused on your goals for this relationship and it’ll help you keep on track with communication.

Support The Child’s Education

Helping a child is the main goal in developing a good relationship between parents and the school. Experts such as Diane Levin, Ph.D., professor of education at Wheelock College, agree that “A positive parent-teacher relationship helps” children succeed in and “feel good about school.” Parents and teachers share a common interest in helping children learn, grow, and develop socially, emotionally, physically, and academically. Ideally, parents and the school can work as partners to support each child’s education. And it’s the school’s responsibility to take the first step in setting a possessive tone for parent/school communication.

Build Parent/Teacher Trust

If you’re not sure how much information to share with parents, error on the side of over-communicating. And remember to listen. Your school needs to invite feedback from parents even before they start asking questions and make sure that you’re really hearing their concerns. When a school builds a respectful, trusting relationship with parents, then you’ll have a much easier time working with them to help the child. They’ll be more likely to come to teachers with any concerns they have as well as to support their child as he or she develops a good teacher/child relationship.

Be Transparent With Parents

For communication between parents and teachers to work well, you must be honest. Concealing or fudging the truth is always a recipe for disaster. If you make a mistake, own it honestly, take feedback and learn from it, and invite the parent community to move on with you. Also, remember that even if parents have researched Montessori education, they don’t always perfectly understand how your school implements Dr. Montessori’s philosophy. Your school needs to be transparent about the way you do things. It’s the school’s and teachers’ job to explain Montessori to parents and encourage their involvement in a child’s education.

Bridge Classroom and Home Environments

It’s good for kids if their parents and teachers are working together to link the classroom and home environments. In some cases, parents might start using Montessori principles in their home. This makes it so the two environments both support the child in similar ways. Be sure your school is providing resources for parents who want to try Montessori at home. Whether or not parents are using Montessori principles in their home, you still need to build bridges between the school and the parents. Implement a system for regular updates/reports to keep children’s parents in the loop regarding their child’s progress and other important updates.

Encourage Teacher Communication

Communication is by far the biggest factor in supporting a good relationship between the school and parents. And that means you need to help teachers get comfortable communicating with parents. Such communication can start even before the school year begins, with teachers reaching out through phone call or email. Keep in mind that many parents prefer in-person communication. Teachers should offer that as an option whenever they need to talk with parents about something important. You can also help support the school/parent and teacher/parent relationship by offering continuing employee education. Holistic Montessori Solutions offers free webinars on a regular basis (click this link to sign up for the next one) and paid workshops your school can have all employees attend. Check out our workshop page for the latest updates on what we’re offering.  

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