Parent-Teacher Connection Questions
The highest performing teachers are able to make the best decisions when they have solid and trusting relationships with others. To build trusting relationships, teachers regularly converse with parents about their child’s work and transparently take action, showing parents they are valued. When combined with effective follow-up by teachers, this practice of checking in with parents also increases engagement and leads to improved student outcomes across the class.
Connect with Parents and Gather Input
Committing to connecting with parents to gain input sets the stage for creating a more engaged work environment. It’s the teacher’s responsibility to create a learning environment where people choose to engage in their work and with others. Intentional connections with parents demonstrate genuine concern and care for their well-being and their student’s well-being.
When initiating connections with parents, it is important to communicate the purpose of the connection and what individuals can expect from the one-on-one time. Then, teachers can schedule connection time with parents or offer specific open office hours for engaging in 1:1 conversations.
Parent-Teacher Connections are intended to be brief conversations that are focused around 4 questions:
- What is working well for you?
- Do you have what you need to support your student’s learning?
- Is there anything I can do to help support your student’s learning?
- What do you enjoy most about connecting with your child at home?
To facilitate relationship building, start by building a personal connection. Check in on the overall emotional wellness of the parent and the student. Other questions can be added to probe for greater understand or more detailed feedback. This core set of questions creates consistency for the parents and provides the teacher with ongoing information about great things happening and opportunities for improvement.
Connections Require Follow Up
The most important part of connecting is following up. The connections become valuable opportunities for teachers, parents and students, when the information gathered is acted on. Teachers follow up by offering support based on the families need and making adjustments based on the feedback gathered. A Stoplight Report is an effective way to communicate how ideas, concerns, and barriers are being handled.
Information gathered from connection conversations should be used to recognize what’s working well. As teachers talk about what is most helpful and meaningful at this time, make sharing that information part of your follow-up process. Consider sending a thank you note, a quick email, or add the recognitions to your next parent update message.
Parent-Teacher Connection Questions in 3 Steps
Before Parent-Teacher Connection
- Introduce the process to the parents (let people know why and what you are doing).
- Set a schedule that is manageable and reaches all parents.
- Create a Connection log to capture data.