Strategies for Parents and the Community
Effective communication also needs a common language. This language is used to communicate expectations to students and help them meet these expectations. Without this language, parents find it much harder to work with schools to discuss their children's needs and aspirations, and harder to talk to children at home about learning (Hattie, 2012).
- Take an active role in communicating with teachers and the school. Make appointments or keep in touch with your children's teachers to discuss concerns or seek information. Email or phone calls are easy ways to do this.
- Make your children's learning the main focus of your communication with the school. Remember that this is the common goal you and the school share - to see your children succeed in their learning. In particular, provide information about your children's needs and discuss your expectations with your children's teachers
- Find out about what your child will be learning (subjects, topics, content) and how they will be learning (classroom activities, processes, technologies).
To do this, you may consider:
- Remember that today's classrooms may be different from your own school experience. Talk to your children's teachers about aspects of the class program that seem different and the reasons for these approaches.
- Use the language of learning to talk to your child about their day to day experiences. Discuss with teachers the terms and phrases they use to make sure you both have a common understanding.
- Make use of the range of communication tools and channels provided by the school, including newsletters, websites, emails, assemblies, parent/teacher interviews, P&C meetings and text messages.
- Find out how the school communicates about opportunities for parents and the community to engage in school activities.
- Discuss your communication needs with your children's teachers or the Principal, especially if you need access to information in other languages or in other forms.
- Engage in communication strategies that are appropriate for your children's ages and stages of development. For example:
Attend information sessions, parent teacher interviews and other events.
Follow (or ask for) checklists that can help your child be ready for secondary school.
Encourage your child to be involved in transition and enrichment programs.
Know the school policies e.g. Mobile device, uniform, assessment etc.
Help your child to establish strong work habits and time management skills.
Actively use your child's school diary to communicate with the teacher/s.
Regularly check the school newsletter, webpage, Facebook page for up-to-date information.
Talk to your child about the value of education.
Work with your child to help them understand and follow assessment schedules.
Discuss subject selection and planning with your child.
Attend year-level or subject meetings, parent teacher nights, and other events.
Help your child prepare for SET planning interviews.
Attend parent information evenings about senior schooling pathways.
Facilitate work experience options for your child.
Assist your child research university or career options for life beyond school.