How Can Teachers Involve Parents in the Classroom?
We are a reader-supported education publication. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission to help us keep providing content.
If you’re a teacher, involving parents in the classroom has many benefits. It will help you learn about your students’ backgrounds, individual needs, learning styles, and more. Involved parents will also gain a new appreciation for the challenges you face in the classroom, develop a better understanding of what you’re trying to teach, and can help you meet your teaching goals more effectively. How do you get them on board?
- Let Parents Volunteer
Parents can be a valuable resource in the classroom, especially if the school is short-staffed. You can encourage parents to volunteer during field trips and summer camps. This is even more helpful if they have experience leading tours, budgeting, or preparing meals — that way, you don’t have to do ten different jobs on top of rounding up the kids.
- Host Orientation Days
Before school starts, most teachers hold a parent-teacher meeting so they can get to know their students’ families better. This gives you more information about each child’s home life. You might learn what languages they speak with their parents, if they have any food preferences, how their parents discipline them, and if they need extra help with certain tasks. It also establishes a connection between you and the child’s parents.
- Request a Letter From Home
At the beginning of the school year, ask parents to write a letter about their child and send it to school with them. This can answer any questions that you didn’t cover in the parent-teacher meeting. It also gives parents a chance to fill you in on subjects they don’t want to discuss in front of their child, such as problems at home or financial struggles.
- Hold an Awards Ceremony
One way teachers can involve parents in the classroom is to teach a lesson in arts and crafts, then let their students display their best creations in an exhibition. Invite parents to come and enjoy their child’s artwork. You can give awards for different categories such as the best painting, pencil drawing, or sculpture.
- Invite Parents to Be Guest Speakers
Host a career day where parents can come talk about their jobs. Even if some people have slightly less interesting or harder-to-explain professions than the traditional firefighter, zookeeper, or doctor, most children are excited to see their parents at school. This gives you more information about your students’ families. It also helps children learn about potential careers, which can segue into a lesson about different types of jobs.
Invite parents to teach a craft, like origami. Encourage them to talk about a cultural tradition or teach a subject you’re less knowledgeable about. Parents can help answer any questions your students might have about these new topics.
- Get Involved With PTA
A parent-teacher association is a great way for teachers to involve parents in the classroom. It lets parents weigh in on decisions, write school newsletters, start fundraisers to support the school, create safety programs, and more. You can attend or even lead PTA meetings to engage with your students’ parents.
- Send Emails
Some parents are only used to getting emails when their child does something wrong at school. You can change that by sending out periodic emails celebrating your students’ successes. Maybe they read a chapter book all on their own, helped another child who scraped their knee, or got an A on their math test. You can always find something to celebrate! Let their parents know that you’re proud of them.
How can teachers involve parents in the classroom? It’s all about making positive connections with parents and giving them a chance to participate in their child’s learning experience. Whether by inviting them to speak at the school or simply keeping in touch, you can make your students’ parents feel welcome and included in the classroom.