Ongoing research shows that family engagement in schools improves student achievement, reduces absenteeism, and restores parents’ confidence in their children’s education. (NEAtoday.org)
Parents are their children’s most important people in their education career and teachers are second. In my personal conversations with other parents, I have learned that how well they ‘like’ their child’s teacher strongly depends on the communication they have with the teacher. Typically, parents want information about how their child is learning, what their child is learning and how they behave in class. It is also important for parents to share with teachers how the child is doing at home, if any important changes would affect the child at school. Open communication between these parties will lead to more engagement which will benefit the student.
In a study listed in the Economics of Education Review, it was reported that communication as simple as a weekly one-sentence teacher-to-parent messaging intervention reduced the percentage of students who failed summer courses from 16% to 9%. Parental engagement is correlated with student performance. If the example above is telling of what simple communication can do, it would be to the benefit of all students to improve parent-teacher communication.
There’s still one piece missing. Language. Many times, especially in the Latino community, parents aren’t engaged simply because of the difficulty of communicating with faculty who don’t speak the same language. Often, the student is expected to translate between parents and teachers. This obviously has its flaws.
How can parent-teacher communication improve to ensure that all parties work together for the student’s education?
One place to start is taking a look at how an online resource like LivingTree could serve your family and school. LivingTree is a single, private and secure place to connect and coordinate via conversations (messages, photos, files, links), shared calendar (volunteer management, notifications, reminders, and more), private messaging, and more. LivingTree extends learning beyond the classroom to further develop children through building community relationships.
Since we are all busy and always on-the-go, any communication tool serves the user better when it can be accessed from mobile devices. The LivingTree network platform can be accessed via the web, or any iPhone or Android product. It supports translation in 40+ languages and is built on the latest web and mobile technologies and backed by a highly scalable cloud deployment.
Parents can type and receive messages in their native language while teachers can type and receive messages in English. As the Hispanic population continues to grow in the United States, this is an important issue to address. Parents deserve to have easier communication with their child’s teachers despite a difference in language.
WATCH the testimonial from Irving ISD below: