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4th Grade Reading/Language Arts & Social Studies Teacher

Building parent/teacher

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Building parent/teacher partnerships can be difficult, especially when you teach in a community that is historically uninvolved in education. My goal this upcoming year is to turn this idea around. The author is not the first I have heard of routine positive phone calls. I am an advocate of positive phone calls (and notes) however, I find the creating a routine of phone calls difficult as I service 60 students. A colleague once shared how she called every parent every Monday just to say "Hello! John had a great day!" I loved the idea...and then I learned that she had only 15 students in her classroom.

I mention phone calls as the "Three Call Method" is an idea that is new to me. As fresh as this idea is, it makes sense to have the first three calls be positive calls. I look forward to implementing this in my own classroom!

Clinical Psychologist & Author of The Homework Trap

The Key to Healthy Parent-Teacher Partnerships

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Although I agree with what the author says, I think there is one other concept that needs to be stated, and that is respect for the natural hierarchies of the home and the school. Home is home and a place where parents are in charge. School is school and a place where teachers are in charge. Partnerships and dialogue work best when this simple concept is clearly understood. The prime source of tensions between parents and teachers is over homework, and that’s because it is the one activity that traverses the boundaries between home and school. If we are going to have true and effective working partnerships between parents and teachers, it has to involve a model in which parents have the final say on what happens in their homes. For sure, teachers can assign homework as they feel makes sense. But they must do it with the tacit permission of the parents, and with the understanding that parents have the authority to overrule assignments if, in their judgment, it is in their child’s best interests to have the assignment waived. Kenneth Goldberg, Ph.D.

Middle School Integrated Curriculum-Aspiring Leader-Lifelong Learner

"no dumping aloud"

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I love the way you clearly wrote out effective and ineffective parent contact.
I refuse to call a parent about anything bad unless I have established the 1 and 2 - the Hello call and the your child is incredible because... Call!
Thank you

CAD & Drafting Teacher

The Long Standing History

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This method is another technique teachers should be adding to their "community relations" skill set, not more than ever the teaching community has to undo decades of poor relations with parents, especially the parents of those students in trouble or on the fence.

Mentor, Teaching Consultant

Creating Dream Teams

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Little else you say or do can change so much in the life of another human being, student or colleague, as compliments or encouragement. And the only effort from your part is the small act of kindness and choosing to use the positive words that communicate the positive outcomes. Our words clearly communicate the expectations, and I think we all know the effect of self-fulfilling prophecies like the Pygmalion effect. (Please check my blog for more information) Focusing on the positive is important because it empowers students to learn and parents to cooperate.

If it only were that simple

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There are such strong "assumptions" and stereotypes associated with some children/parents and their community and non welcoming school environments, so much so, that even with the best "dream team" the child is set up to fail.

Until we are willing to acknowledge those conditions exist we will continue to have "dumping", parents versus teachers, teacher unions versus students...

Middle School Teacher in Connecticut

Battlegrounds: America's War in Education and Finance:

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I say the exact same thing in my book. However, I use primary source examples to illustrate the issue. Please refer to my blog and website for further information.

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