2. Why is it important for teachers to involve and
form partnerships with families?
• Enhances the child’s learning and well-being
optimises the child for classroom learning
• Enhances the professionalism of teachers
parents view teachers as more professional if
teachers communicated more and developed
more positive relationships with them.
• The remit of the teacher extends to include
supporting parents to offer a stimulating home
6. Normed families
Would have been considered uncommon a
generation ago but are now increasingly
considered part of “normal” life in
contemporary societies. Include:
• Single-parent families
• Grandparents as caregivers
7. Vulnerable families
Families whose functioning and well-being are
negatively impacted by life circumstances such
as financial hardship, emotional distress, and
physical stress. Include:
• Homeless families
• Working-poor families
8. Understanding family structure
Children can be effectively raised in many
different family systems. It is the emotional
climate of the family, rather than its kinship
structure, that primarily determines a child’s
emotional well being and healthy
9. Name one characteristic of these
• Teenage parents
• Parents who are often absent school events
• Illiterate parents
• Parents who are deaf
• Parents of a minority ethnic group
10. Avoid pre-judging and stereotyping
• To be able to develop constructive relationships
with parents n your setting, it is important not to
pre-judge them but have an open mind to their
way and their style of parenting.
• Taking time to get to know individual parents,
their interests, concern and ideas will prevent
teachers from stereotyping the, as well as
ensuring that they feel more valued and
respected foundation for effective partnership
11. Parents’ view of professionals
How would parents like to be treated by teachers?
• someone who cares about them and their children.
• respect and to be seen as effective member of the child’s education
• to have a part in shaping the agenda that impacts them.
• to see their ideas respected and used in creating quality care
• competent teachers who deliver services effectively and in ways that
truly meet their needs.
• to be part of a relationship that is collaborative and communicative.
• a close relationship with teachers.
12. Understanding parenting styles
• Authoritarian parents
Display a high level of demanding behaviour but a low
level of responsiveness to their children’s ideas and
expressions of independence
• Permissive parents
Take a hands-off approach to parenting. Make few
demands and instead allow their children to make their
own choices and assert their independence.
• Authoritative parents
Responsive to their children’s wishes but also demand
that they follow clear standards of behaviour.
14. What can teachers do?
• Communicate with parents using their native
• Translate written materials.
• Use a trustworthy interpreter if needed.
• Avoid using children as interpreters.
• Involve parents in activities or assign parents
roles that they are comfortable with and can
17. Parents’ reactions to children’s learning
• It can be sadness about their child’s learning difficulties or
• Adds to the stress of the family.
• It can be a sense of loss for what the child may not become.
• It may be a realisation of how their lives are different from
those of families of children who do not have difficulties.
• Denial is often a part of grieving.
• May be temporary or chronic.
• Parents have the right to grieve about their child – a right
that teachers should respect.
18. Parents’ reactions to children’s learning
• Mixed feelings or contradictory ideas about the child or the
• May occur as parents attempt to confirm that the child’s
difficulty is not temporary or fixable, as they try to
determine the best educational options for their child.
• They may ponder how their child will live as an adult.
The decisions that parents of children with learning
difficulties have to make are often difficult. Parents are
often given tremendous amount of information with little
time for explanation. It is no wonder they may feel
19. Parents’ reactions to children’s learning
• To the optimistic parents, learning difficulties is
just part of the configuration of needs that any
child in the family might have.
• The emphasis is on the child, not the learning
• Parents may work diligently to optimise their
child’s education, and they are hopeful about
their child’s future.
• They work closely with educators and others to
ensure that the child’s life, whatever it may be, is
the best one possible.
22. Principles for empowering families
• Facilitate constructive communication
• Collaborate rather than direct (use “we” instead of
• Control your private thoughts
• Select your words appropriately
• Pay attention to your body language
• Respond appropriately – active listening
• Defer judgement
• Be helpful
• Instill realistic hope
• Know your strengths and limitations
23. Control your private thoughts
• We often conduct private conversations with
ourselves when listening to others talk. Examples:
Why is she telling me this? I feel sad for him.
What am I going to say when she stops talking?
• While such thoughts are normal, they
nevertheless prevents us from focusing on what
the other person is communicating.
• To address this challenge, follow these three
rules: STOP your private thoughts, LOOK at the
parent who is speaking, and really LISTEN to what
the parent is saying.
24. Challenges of family involvement
Some of the challenges…
• Parent-child relationships
• Parental stress
• Financial hardship
• Families with disabilities
• Concerns about child safety, acceptance and inclusion
• Families that are grieving
• Families from non-dominant cultures or non-English speaking parents
• Authoritarian or permissive parents
• When education is not a priority in the family
• Poor family attendance
• Poor staff support
• … and the list goes on!
25. Goals of family involvement
• Goal #1: Support children’s education
• Parents and teachers share information about children’s learning
experiences, social interactions, daily routines, health status, child’s
accomplishments, strengths and weaknesses.
• Goal #2: Link children and families to community resources
• Use community professionals (e.g., doctors, nutritionists, police officers,
counselors) to attend to the needs of children and their families and to
introduce children to community life.
• Goal #3: Build human capital
• Promote children’s full potential.
• Address children’s needs through programmes such as school-based
after-school programmes, health clinics, individual and group counseling,
foreign language enrichment programmes.
• Address parents’ needs through programmes such literacy classes,
computer and math classes,mental health counseling, nutritional
27. Family support centre
• Develop a family resource centre with families.
• Provide space and reading materials.
• Consider a virtual centre.
28. Family portfolio
• Develop family portfolios that are similar to
• Help families to collect samples of children’s
work that documents their developmental and
• Encourage children to work with their parents
to select items they produce together.
29. Family workshops
• Provide families with opportunities to learn
new information and develop new skills.
• Types: informational, educational or makeand-
take workshops (or a combination of any of
31. Take family involvement activities to the
• Useful when there is a number of parents working
at a local workplace.
• Contact the employer and ask if you might conduc
family involvement activities or schedule parent-
teacher conference onsite.
• While at the workplace, use your observational
skills to identify potential topics that can be
incorporated into classroom lessons.
• Remember to follow and coordinate yours,
teachers’ and parents’ workplace policies.
32. Thank you note
• Acknowledge and honour the contributions
families make to their children’s development
• Feed them and they will come – also allows
parents to relax and socialize with teachers
and other families. Find local stores to provide
meals or organise a potluck.
33. Task: Plan one family-school or family-school-community
partnership that you are likely to pursue. (30 minutes)
• What will be the title of your event?
• What will be the goal of your event?
• What activities will you provide that support children’
development and education?
• How will you involve families in the event?
• Describe the roles and responsibilities that teachers and
agency personnel will assume in planning and carrying out
• How will you ensure sustainability of goal after the event?
• What sort of information will you include in your event
materials (e.g., power point slides, handbook).
• Develop an informational flyer that explains why and how
families should work with teachers to support the goal of the