Family engagement remains a challenge for many educators. Despite our best intentions, efforts to connect parents and teachers often fall short. Research shows that parent involvement does have a positive impact on student achievement. Let’s look at some ways educators can keep families engaged through the year.
Take on Texts
In-person visits, phone calls and newsletters are popular forms of communication, but in our mobile-centric society, there are more effective ways to reach families. Now that all of us are more used to texts than phone calls, parents may be more receptive to a teacher texting them than calling. Remind is a tool teachers can use to connect with multiple families through text message. Teachers can even attach images and files to messages.
Amplify Voice through Video
Many educators began using video regularly because of the pandemic. They relied on services such as Zoom and for synchronous (live) instruction and video editing apps such as Screencastify, WeVideo and Flipgrid for recording lessons. Thankfully, these same tools can also promote family engagement. Instead of meetings or conferences in person, educators and families can schedule convenient times to meet online. Planning a family event? Consider live or recorded video for meet the teacher night, student showcases, parent universities or even family game night!
Share through Social Media
Social media can help educators stay engaged with families in a variety of ways. Post messages about upcoming events on Twitter, keep families informed through online Smore newsletters and share images of their classrooms in action on Instagram and Facebook. Educators can even use TikTok to share mini-lessons or quick tutorials. When using social media, make sure to review district policies and be mindful that you do not share students’ personal information or faces without permission.
Truth be told, families want to engage with schools. However, work schedules and other obligations may prevent them from connecting through traditional channels. Companies have equipped educators with a variety of tools to make connecting easier and more convenient. Prioritizing family engagement will yield positive outcomes for students.
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