Parents should be viewed as your partner in developing their child. Building healthy relationships with parents by engaging them classroom ongoings and soliciting for input and feedback will allow for a greater sense of parent voice in our classrooms. Often, teachers can default to reporting misbehaviour to families when something goes wrong. But what happens when we flip the script and only start to focus on reporting positive occurrences rather than negative interactions. Some simple steps you can take:

  • Create a mailing list at the beginning of the school year and email parents a short update once in a while to prompt them to connect with their students about classroom ongoings, academic and otherwise (be sure to “bcc” – to protect confidentiality of emails). This is also a good time to prompt parents for their input. For example: “We will be focusing on conflict resolution this week, do you have any considerations/tips/tricks/other for me to include in our classroom conversations? What works for you at home?” and then incorporating some of this into your classroom. Start your email with “Dear Partners in Education,”


    • Send a parent questionnaire at the beginning of the year. Again, we often default to the same old classroom newsletter outlining routines/expectations/homework policies/etc for parents, but we don’t always send a survey soliciting for hopes and wishes for their child in school this year. Some sample questions could include:
      • What do you hope your child accomplishes this year?
      • What does your child want to be when they grow up?
      • What types of activities do you and your child like to do together?
      • Is homework important in your household? How much time is dedicated to it?

* by asking these types of questions, we provide the child with consistency between environments (home, school, community) for them to thrive in.

  • Ask your parents if any of them have any expertise in any areas and if they would like to come in and work with the students on a lesson/activity that taps into their expertise.