Communicating with Parents and Caregivers
As a teacher, you and children's parents and caregivers are partners in helping to get the children ready for future school success. Good communication with parents and caregivers can build support for and strengthen the important work that you are doing in the classroom.
It is important for you to communicate with parents and caregivers because:
- They will have a better understanding of how you are helping to prepare their children for success in school.
- They will learn how well their children are progressing in developing the building blocks of learning.
- They will learn ways in which they can help their children at home.
- You will have a better understanding of the background and experiences of the children.
- The children will see that the adults in their life care about them and are interested in their learning and development.
Here are some ways that you can communicate with parents and caregivers:
- Talk with them as they deliver and pick up their children.
- Send home newsletters, notes, or e–mails to inform them of what their children are learning in your classroom.
- Schedule regular meetings to let them know how their children are progressing—both the areas of strength and the areas that could use more support at home.
Encourage parents and caregivers to:
- Talk with children during daily routines, such as when riding in the car and during meal and bath times.
- Help children name objects in their environment.
- Read and reread stories.
- Recount experiences and describe ideas that are important to them.
- Visit libraries and museums.
- Provide opportunities for children to draw and print, using markers, crayons, and pencils.
Share ideas with parents and caregivers about activities that they can do at home to build on what you are doing in the classroom.
Invite parents and caregivers to visit your classroom.
These are examples of remarks teachers may make to parents to help enhance their children’s learning:
"Jason's doing a great job of learning his letters. Maybe he can show you tonight how many he knows!"
"Amanda is having a little trouble talking about the stories that I've been reading to the class. It would probably help if you could ask her to talk about the stories you read to her at home. When you've finished reading a book, you could say something like, ‘Amanda, can you tell your teddy bear what that story was about?’"
"You can help Roberto practice his ‘R’ by writing his name and coming up with other fun words that start with the letter ‘R.’"
"Here’s a book that Lucas was interested in today. It is about animals. Maybe you can go to the library and get another book about animals. You can also take this book and read it and talk about which animals he likes the best and why."
"As you know, today we went on a field trip to the grocery store. Ask Maurice to tell you some of the things we did."
Source: Teaching Our Youngest: A Guide for Preschool Teachers and Child Care and Family Providers, U.S. Department of Education.