It’s the beginning of the school year, and you need to get your parents on your side. How do you do that? Start positive – let your parents know that you notice the positive things their student does. Sending home a positive note, like this one here, is a quick and easy way to build that relationship. Be sure to keep the notes authentic and sincere:
- Comment on the student’s positive attitude
- Focus on growth mindset, not just ability
- Acknowledge a kind gesture s/he did
In addition to starting the parent relationship early with positive notes, send questionnaires home. A lot of parents don’t know that they are capable of helping out, or don’t think they can because of their work schedule. If you send home a short questionnaire, don’t just ask for help during the school day, or academic-related help. Encourage parents to share their talents and experiences with you!
Once you’ve figured out how to communicate with the parents, COMMUNICATE! Don’t expect parents to come knocking on your door to find out how they can get involved. Ask them! Use the email addresses, phone numbers (Remind is a great app that allows you to message them without giving your phone number out), and any other method of contact to ask for help. Expect to get some “nos” at first, but keep trying. The more consistent you are, and the more advanced your notice/request is, the more likely you are to get the support you need. If you need help, just ask!
Remember to thank the parents that get involved! Thank the parents that can’t get involved, too. We often think that they don’t care if they don’t get involved – more often then not, they are overwhelmed with their own responsibilities, or are afraid they are unable to do what you’re asking. Continue to ask, continue to thank, and most importantly, be sure to follow your school’s policy on volunteers!