As a teacher, I can’t stress the importance of establishing an open line of communication with each parent enough. Taking the time to communicate to parents and keep them updated as to how their child is doing is paramount to achieving an environment where children feel happy and secure, and families feel connected and informed.
Parent-teacher communication can be as simple as talking to the parents at drop-off and dismissal, or as extensive as arranging a parent-teacher conference. Over the years, I have found parents really appreciate an open door policy where they feel like they can come in at any time to ask questions and touch base about their child. It is rare that they do, but just knowing they have that option makes them feel more confident and secure.
Parent Communication for Montessori Teachers: Some Helpful Ideas
At the beginning of the year it is important to start out on the right foot and establish a sense of trust, so I always place a personal phone call to each family after the first few weeks. It is wonderful way to acquire additional information about each child, and the perfect way to bond with each family. I also find it is helpful to arrange a couple of scheduled thirty minute observations throughout the year, where parents can simply sit in the background and observe. It is so interesting for them to see what their child does at school, and they are usually pleasantly surprised by how capable, responsible and busy the children are! As a parent, there is nothing more rewarding than getting a glimpse into all that your child does while at preschool.
Another touch that goes a long way is a monthly newsletter, or even weekly updates. I have received such positive comments over the years from parents regarding the monthly newsletters that I email to each family. They love hearing about the themes that were covered, the new concepts that were learned, and anything else that was special and exciting. I also find it important to give them a little “sneak peek” as to what’s in store for the month ahead.
Part 2 of this article offers a sample newsletter as an example of how I communicate regularly with each family.
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Thursday, March 31, 2011.