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Why Communication is The Key To Engaged Communities

Communication. Communication. Communication. For an education professional, it might be the most important part of the job. A thoughtful article addresses the enormous influence of positive communication, from a teacher’s perspective. From calling, emailing, to crafting an easy-to-read newsletter, there is no doubt that a well informed community produces positive results for all involved.

Just for a moment, think of all the job duties a teacher has. Teachers play the role of advocate, coach, trainer, analyst, psychologist, community organizer, and bookkeeper, just to name a few. Which one is the most important? You could ask any teacher that question and you’re going to come away with drastically differing answers. But the fact is, teachers have to be really good at a lot of things.

No matter a teacher’s skill set, communication with parents and with the at-large school community is among the most important tools in every teacher’s tool kit for positively engaging the school community. Yet, as cited in research on the subject , it’s something teachers don’t have adequate time and training to do. Teaching can be all about relationship building, and what better way to build a relationship than through the power of positive communication?

It takes time to build relationships, and a lot of times communication home is full of difficult conversations. When parents get calls one of the first reactions can be, “Oh no, what did my child do wrong this time?” Teachers are trained how to give feedback on tests and report cards, but it seems there is just too little time in a busy teaching day to give proper feedback to parents.

One of the most effective ways of reaching school parents I used in the classroom was to send them a quick email about our individualized morning meeting by offering praise, recognition, and reinforcement. They loved hearing about how good their kids were doing. If I were to advise any teacher starting out, it would be to respond to every email and phone call as timely as possible by updating them on as many successes as you can possibly think of, no matter the student. For teachers reading this blog, this article is particularly helpful on why that is so important.

School-parent communications are key for a host of other reasons, too. Although full of positive news for the profession, The National Educational Association reports of an interesting discrepancy between how teachers and parents feel about the classroom. According to the NEA study of 1000 parents and educators, “Sixty-eight percent of teachers reported difficulty in dealing with parents.” Furthermore, “More than one-quarter of parents stated their biggest challenge has been teachers’ perceived lack of understanding for their concerns.”

These problems could all be mitigated by….Communication. Communication. Communication.

The School Communications Agency specializes in professional documents that parents want to read and share. Through our detailed process of writing timely items of interest, we are able to engage schools, parents, and community through our school-specific newsletters. And by reaching school parents, you’ll definitively take part in improving parent-teacher communication, from success to significance.

And want to make it an even more significant? Read the newsletter aloud to your kids. Reading aloud to kids increases literacy rates and engagement in the school community!

About The Author

Chris Coomey is a teacher, writer, and community engagement specialist. When not working with students or writing about education, you can find him on his bike, on the basketball court, or out on a long hike on the incredible Colorado trails.