There is a misconception that parents and teachers can’t communicate effectively. The teaching profession is under pressure from many fronts – not least of which are parents. Parents can be demanding…and helpful…and sometimes confused. With the advent of social media and mobile devices, communication between parents and teachers has changed and still, there is discontent and confusion on both sides. What is it that parents want that they think they don’t get and what do teachers need to make communication easier and clearer?
Part of this dilemma lies at the foundation of our daily lives: time or the lack thereof. For teachers, once grading for the day has been completed, it is often late in the evening. It doesn’t feel like there is time or energy for extensive communications to parents. The pressures are mounting on teachers and schools to make sure assessments are completed on time and in accordance with regulations. Curricula is changing with the push towards the Common Core, and technology seems to change daily. Add in after-school activities, school dances, faculty meetings, and teacher in-service training days – it is no wonder that teachers are stretched to send out feedback in a timely manner.
So what about today’s technology? It is important to note that with WiFi so prevalent on campuses today, and a full 80% of students with ready access to smartphones or tablets, an information flow could be constructed that would keep parents AND students in the “know” on a daily basis. Teachers don’t need to repeat or re-enter information again and again. If your work week isn’t very automated and you are using very little technology during your work week, know that there are solutions and opportunities out there to make your job and life easier. You can demand that your school administration examine technology solutions that can address the issues of time management, instant information feedback, and equitable grading across the curriculum. You may get an administrator scratching his or her head when asked, but explain to them that there are solutions that are inexpensive and are working! Those solutions can make communicating with parents and colleagues easy and pain-free. Let me know if you want my suggestions and I would be happy to share!