Parent-Teacher Communication: Strategies, Tools, and Pitfalls
Abstract: Rapid changes in digital technology and related cultural norms have qualitatively altered expectations around parent-teacher communication practices. Thirty years ago parents might have expected to learn a few times a year how their child was doing in a given class -- via conferences and term grades. As with shopping, entertainment, and interactions with friends, many parents now expect very explicit knowledge of how their child is doing--on a daily basis in many settings. Teachers, interested in doing “whatever it takes” to support their student’s success, often initiate this digital on-demand parent-teacher communication stream. Yet some teachers find this expectation daunting and even questionable. What are the most effective and efficient ways for teachers to facilitate meaningful digital parent-teacher communication? Is it possible this digital communication stream may be damaging adolescent development? How can parents and teachers avoid a problematic level of oversight? Aggregated findings from recent field studies around facilitating parent communication will be shared. In addition to descriptive implementation suggestions for free tools such as SeeSaw, Facebook, Remind, blogs, and Class Dojo. Underlying ethical and social-emotional issues--for teachers, students, and parents--comorbid with current practices will be explored.
Presider: Douglass Scott, Waseda University