Fostering Positive Communication Between Home and School

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Used with permission from the Waterloo Family Resource Network, August 2015 PULSE newsletter

The summer is half over, and even though it seems like we just finished the transition into summer, it's already time to start thinking about how to transition out. Preparing our children for the school year takes a lot of planning and preparation.

WRFN is very pleased that this year we have been able to put together a Back To School Seminar focusing on creating positive communication between home and school, with perspectives offered by parents and representatives from both school boards. It's not always easy to support your child collaboratively in the educational environment they happen to be in. This panel will offer strategies and communication tips to ensure that close and trusting relationships can be developed with those responsible for your child's learning environment. It will occur Tuesday Sept 1 from 7-9pm at The Family Centre, and we definitely encourage everyone to attend. More information is included in this issue of Family Pulse (see page 4).

It can be very difficult as a parent who knows a great deal about their child to step back and allow educators and support staff to make choices for them. If choices that are made for your child do not match up with your idea of the best thing for your child, a situation can quickly escalate. Instead of viewing school staff as an oppositional force, try your best to be open and accessible to suggestions made.

Teachers and support staff want what's best for your child, even if they are limited by circumstances and resources. Respect and active listening are important skills to foster when dealing collaboratively with school staff, and are the root of a strong, trusting relationship. The primary beneficiary of that relationship will always be your child.
Some of the issues we will be addressing in our seminar, with the goal of successful school-home collaboration are:

  • Opening the lines of communication
  • Developing relationships based on trust
  • Recognizing positive intent, and believing educators want what is best for your child
  • Utilizing active listening skills
  • Recognizing a learning opportunity and growing from it
  • Minimizing emotional conflict with various communication strategies

Although each individual circumstance is different, many of these strategies can be applied in almost any support situation. Starting the school year with the right tools is essential for an enhanced school experience.