While it is true that as teachers our main mission is to teach the students in our classrooms lots of exciting new language and skills, it’s also true that as professional educators we often invest a lot of our precious time in speaking to and dealing with students’ parents. For example, we may just say a friendly hello, offer a friendly reminder, provide a word of warning or perhaps simply give a student’s family and loved ones some feedback about their child’s progress. Whilst this may suffice for some parents, some teachers assert that this is just the tip of the teacher parent relationship. I would argue that there is so much more that could be done to encourage both parties to join efforts to guarantee that each student reaches their personal learning goals successfully.
This webinar* looked at how we as teachers can actively involve our students’ parents in their children’s school learning process. Generally speaking, by nature, most parents are interested in their children’s academic life and progress, and want to help their children be successful at school. It is also true that more often than not they are true specialists when it comes to knowing their children’s strengths and weaknesses. Yet, in many cases this natural interest turns out to be a source of frustration as it is not always channeled correctly, and rather than feeling useful and engaged, parents end up feeling lost and frustrated. They know that there is so much more that could be done to help their children, but don’t know exactly how to go about doing it.
In order to revert this, we began the webinar by discussing and analyzing how parent involvement outside school can be set up in a practical manner. This is what the webinar covered:
- Setting up a clear and open channel of communication between teachers and parents.
- Suggesting and exploring various ideas and activities to get parents started on the right track and gently guide and encourage them to become active participants in their children’s learning process.
- Suggesting and considering ideas like how to plan and set up a revision schedule for their children, how to choose appropriate learning resources, and how to use the Oxford parents’ website to find appropriate tasks and activities.
By the end of the webinar, you will have a fair idea of how to go about creating a game plan to apply in your school. You’ll be able to involve and engage parents to help maximize their students’ learning.
Vanessa has been teaching English as a Foreign language in Portugal for the past 20 years. She is currently teaching at Escola Superior de Educação. Her areas of interest are teaching Young learners, Teens and Pre-Teens. Vanessa ran a webinar on the above topic in 2016, click here to watch the webinar recording.
*Webinar recordings are available to all members of the Oxford Teacher’s Club. Not yet a member? It’s free, quick, and easy to sign up!