Each day, parents and guardians entrust their children to teachers and educators. Some parents may remain skeptical about trusting public institutions, including public schools. Overcoming this skepticism and building this trust can occur – one teacher-parent relationship at a time.
Parents want to know that a teacher has a supportive, compassionate stance towards their child. They also want to know that teachers will take the time to get to know their child and use this information to develop a positive, healthy and constructive working relationship with them. In effect, parents want teachers to act as a caring adult while their children are at school. Similarly, teachers want to know that they have the support of parents and guardians at home to help them attend to the strengths, interests and needs of their students. Parents and teachers both have expectations of each other and both realize that each has rights and responsibilities that guide their interactions.
Healthy relationships are built upon mutual respect, trust and sincerity. Experience and evidence show that, aside from the teaching strategies used, it is the nature and quality of relationships that has the most significant impact on student learning. This includes relationships that teachers and educators establish with parents and guardians.
Creating positive parent-teacher relationships from the start allows everyone to respond to negative or challenging situations before, or when, they occur.