University of Illinois Extension

Parent-Teacher Communication

Research shows that children do better in school when parents talk often with teachers and become involved in the school. There are number of ways that parents and teachers can communicate with each other, rather than relying on the scheduled parent-teacher conferences. Close communications between parents and teachers can help the student.

Parents who participate in school activities and events will have added opportunities to communicate with teachers. Becoming involved with parent-teacher organizations (PTO, PTA, and Booster Clubs) gives the teacher and parent the possibility to interact outside the classroom. In addition, the parent also will have input into decisions that may affect their child's education.

Teachers usually welcome meeting their students' parents early in the school year. Making an effort to do this will help the teacher better understand you, your child, and how you will support the education of your child. Teachers appreciate knowing that parents are concerned and interested in their child's progress. And, this helps open the lines of communication.

Another good investment in your child's education is to volunteer. Depending upon parent's availability, interests, and the needs of the school, the opportunities are endless. Some suggestions include: lunchroom monitor, tutoring, library aid, classroom speaker on a specific topic of interest, and concession worker at school events. Parents should take stock of their skills and interests to volunteer. School personnel may not know what parents want to do as a volunteer.

Phone calls and visits to the classroom are also good ways to cooperate with teachers and keep informed about your child's progress. Discuss appropriate times and means of contact with the teacher.

Parent-teacher conferences are often scheduled at the time of the first report card for the school year. For parents and teachers, this is a chance to talk one-on-one about the student. The parent-teacher conference is a good opportunity to launch a partnership between parent and teacher that will function during the school year.