Both parents and teachers have hectic schedules and a million things going on at once. Though bridging the communication gap will ensure everyone is on the same page when it comes to helping the children.

As a parent-teacher group, you have a unique opportunity to facilitate the communication to ensure neither are overwhelmed throughout the year. And the best place to start is asking which forms or communication and frequencies work best. The rules for communicating with parents don’t always apply with teachers.

You won’t have a perfect answer, but you should always defer to what the teacher prefers as they’re already committed to communicating progress through the schools processes.

Here are the five (5) tips we suggest for parents to communicate with teachers:

  1. Pick a Channel, and Stick To It: If text/phone communication is OK, don’t abuse it. If they require digital messages on an online board, keep it clean and concise, and if there’s a face-to-face needed, communicate that in a healthy way. And with every meeting or discussion, take notes for recalling down the road.
  2. Be Nice: Imagine dealing with a variety of ages and attitudes every day only to receive a less than friendly response from a parent… Kindness, patience, and understanding go a long way, and it will be reciprocated.
  3. Acknowledge & Value: Point out the hard work they do, and show appreciation for it. Don’t be late for meetings, because they’re not just waiting for you. And if you must cancel, communicate that with plenty of heads up so that they can use the time for someone (or something) else.
  4. Establish Trust: Communicate your issues, fears, and displeasure. If the teachers don’t know what you’re dealing with, they won’t understand how to help. Transparency and honesty ensures that there’s nothing being glazed over, and everyone is on the same page and working the problems together.
  5. Never Assume: Double — and even at times — triple-check that you are on the same page to avoid leaving them in a precarious position.

PRO TIP: If your parent-teacher group hasn’t already, ask the teacher(s) in your life to complete a “dream sheet” complete with their favorite things, coffee, classroom supplies, etc.) so that you can make random drops to show your appreciation throughout the year.

And if you’re a parent that’s curious about what the ideal teacher communication strategy would look like, here’s an article that walks through how they navigate discussing progress inside the classroom.