As parents, we want to have good parent teacher relationships with our children’s teachers. We seek to know about our children’s strengths as well as their weaknesses. We also want to be confident that their teachers love them and care about them, and know what their interests are so that we can work as a team to guide their futures. How do we turn good intentions into reality? Learning Heroes has gathered resources into an online toolkit, Team Up for Success, that helps parents initiate communication with teachers and enlist their help in planning for the future.
Resources to Help Parents and Teachers Team Up for Success
Parents want the best for our children, but sometimes we don’t have enough information to make decisions at the right time. At Learning Heroes, their mission is to inform and equip parents to best support their children’s educational and developmental success. They want parents to be their children’s learning heroes, and as a result, their children can excel in school and lead lives full of opportunity. To help parents, Learning Heroes works with partners, including PTA and Univision, to create easy-to-use, bilingual, online tools that help us support our children. In an earlier post, we shared about Paths to Success, their tool for getting children ready for high school.
Team Up for Success is the toolkit that families need now—in the first quarter of the school year, with parent-teacher conferences happening, and jitters about how the pandemic may have affected our children’s learning over the past two years. The Team Up for Success page supports ongoing parent communications with free research-based tools and resources that will be updated throughout the year. Here are some of the things you will find on the page.
“Dear Teacher” Letter
Do you see the value of communicating with your children’s teacher, but you’re putting it off for some reason—not sure how much or how little to share, what to tell them about your children, or what to ask for? Learning Heroes has created an interactive “Dear Teacher” letter to make it easier for families to introduce themselves to their children’s new teachers. Parents can use this tool at the beginning of the school year, or whenever they feel like it would be helpful—it’s not too late.
This Parenting Minutes video from WNET explains the importance of building parent-teacher relationships.
The “Dear Teacher” letter form helps your children’s teacher get to know your child and your family, with prompts on topics such as favorite family activities and your children’s interests. It also encourages you to share what your child enjoys learning about and what they are good at. It’s always good to start with the positives!
As parents, we also need to share our worries with our children’s teachers. The “Dear Teacher” letter includes places to ask for help with life skills, such as organization, and academic skills, like specific reading or math concepts.
The letter also has a framework for setting goals. Parents know their children best and can recommend goals that are personalized and suit their children’s interests. For students in Texas public schools, the STAAR test might be a source of data for setting goals. When parents and teachers work together, students have the best chance of making accelerated progress.
Finally, be sure to include your contact information so that parent-teacher communication can continue through the school year.
More Tools to Help Parents and Teachers Team Up for Success
Parent-Teacher Planning Tool
Learning Heroes has created an updated Parent-Teacher Planning Tool that helps parents form a two-way parent teacher relationship. It’s also designed to help share progress. This video helps parents learn how to use the tool.
The Readiness Check offers short quizzes on reading and math that are geared towards your child’s grade level. Asking your child to answer a few simple questions, then submitting the answers for scoring, will produce a brief report showing which questions your child answered correctly, and explaining how they missed the ones that were incorrect. The readiness check could offer quick reassurance, or it could be a diagnostic to spark parent-teacher communication about how to support your child academically during the current school year. This video explains more about the Readiness Check.
Paths to Success
In an earlier post, we teamed up with Khalid Zakaria, Academic Counselor at Frank L. Madla Early College High School, to discuss what parents of middle and high school students need to know to guide their children towards graduation. Learning Heroes gathered those tools and resources at Paths to Success.
As parents, we are doing our best to be learning heroes for our children. Team Up for Success gives us tools and resources to build good communication with our children’s teachers. With tools like the “Dear Teacher” Letter, the , as well as the Readiness Check and Paths to Success, parents have help to find the right words and questions to connect with children’s teachers. When parents and teachers work together as a team, they can share important information and build trust and understanding.
Charter Moms Chats
Watch Kelsey Nelson, Senior Manager of External Relations at Learning Heroes, and Erica Martinez, Director of Engagement and Development at Lighthouse Public Schools, talk with Inga Cotton about Team Up for Success and how parents can build relationships with their kids’ teachers on October 7, 2021 at 4:00 PM Central live on Facebook and YouTube.
Kelsey Nelson is the Senior Manager of External Relations at Learning Heroes.
Erica Martinez is the Director of Engagement and Development at Lighthouse Public Schools. She is currently working on a Ph.D. in social work.
Read More About Parent-Teacher Relationships
- “Step-by-Step Instructions for STAAR Report Cards and Resources,” Inga Cotton, San Antonio Charter Moms, June 29, 2021
- “Exploring the Paths to Success in High School and Beyond,” Melissa Rayworth, San Antonio Charter Moms, April 8, 2021
- “Summer Slide, COVID Slide, and the Glitter Slide,” Erica Martinez, San Antonio Charter Moms, June 3, 2021
- “Improve Your Children’s Learning With Insights From STAAR Test Scores,” Inga Cotton, San Antonio Charter Moms, May 26, 2021
- “Family Self-Care Plan,” Erica Martinez, San Antonio Charter Moms, March 19, 2021
- “Fight COVID Slide With Expert Resources,” San Antonio Charter Moms, December 9, 2020