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Consistent parent involvement in education dramatically increases the likelihood that quality learning will occur. Parents play such a crucial role in their children’s academic, physical, social, and moral development that we, as teachers, make a huge mistake if we view them as anything other than indispensable collaborators. It is not enough to keep parents pleased, appeased, or out of our hair. If we are committed to bringing the best out of our students, we need to build and maintain long-term relationships of loyalty, trust, and respect with their parents. Investing the time and effort to work closely with parents throughout the year maximizes our chances of helping students reach their incredible potential.
This course consists of nine video presentations. It will take approximately 1-2 hours to complete this Home and School Connection course.</p>
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In this video I introduce the central theme of this course: for children to have the best school year possible and maximize their incredible potential, teachers need to establish strong, trusting relationships with parents and view them as indispensable partners in the educational process. Consistent parent involvement dramatically increases the likelihood that quality learning will occur.
|Section 1: The Home-School Connection|
|In this video you will learn nine reasons why making the effort to build and maintain relationships with parents is so important. The nine reasons comprise a strong rationale as to why teachers should make parent involvement a top priority.|
|From this video you will learn a set of principles that set the tone for all communications with parents. Together, they constitute a comprehensive framework designed to make our interactions as positive and productive as possible.
|In this video you will learn three of the most powerful ways to build and maintain relationships with parents: make an initial splash, write a detailed First Day Letter in which you introduce yourself and describe your plans for the coming months, and create a class newsletter that provides a wide variety of useful information throughout the year.
|This video features a series of suggestions that you can use to involve, assist, and strengthen relationships with parents. Some of the ideas described in this video include home-school journals, home visits, and recruiting parents to volunteer in the classroom.
|A significant aspect of the home-school relationship involves helping parents help their children at home. Parents are usually eager to play a major role in the education of their children, but they are rarely shown how to do so. From this video you will learn a variety of ways in which you can assist parents in this endeavor.
|Back to School Night and Open House are two of the most important events of every school year. Each occasion provides a golden opportunity to communicate with families in a meaningful way. In this video you will learn a series of ideas that you can use to make the most of these events.
|In this video I present information about two critically important types of conferences. First, I share a variety of tips and strategies to help you make the most of your annual Parent Conferences. Then, I introduce the concept of a Student-led Conference, a less familiar type of meeting that offers tremendous benefits to children and parents. Specifically, Student-led Conferences empower kids to take greater responsibility for their own learning by giving them the opportunity to assemble work portfolios, organize the contents, plan a presentation, and lead a meeting without teacher involvement.
|In this video I conclude the course by tying together the major themes introduced in the previous videos. In particular, I emphasize the importance of staying consistent with our efforts throughout the year, trying a variety of communication approaches, and providing meaningful opportunities for parents to become involved in their children's education.
Steve Reifman is a National Board Certified elementary school teacher, author, and speaker in Santa Monica, CA. He has written several books for educators and parents, including Changing Kids’ Lives One Quote at a Time, Eight Essentials for Empowered Teaching and Learning, K-8, and Rock Your Students' World. Steve is also the creator of the award-winning Chase Manning Mystery Series for kids 8-12. Each book in the series features a single-day, real-time thriller that occurs on an elementary school campus. For Teaching Tips, articles, and other valuable resources and strategies on teaching the whole child, visit www.stevereifman.com. Follow Steve on Twitter (@stevereifman), subscribe to his “Teaching Kids” YouTube channel, and check out over a dozen of his classroom-tested resources at http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Browse/Search:Steve+Reifman.