School is a Partnership

If we want our kids in our schools to be successful, we have to work together. We work as a team of educators at school to create opportunities for our students to be successful. Sometimes, this is an easy task. Sometimes, it requires a bit of work. The amount of work is different based on individual students. Some students are highly motivated and connected to school and experience success with little or no help. Some students require a little more attention and support. For one reason or another, these students lack motivation and are disconnected from school.

I find that one of the most important realtionships to have, as an educational leader, is a relationship with the parents of our students. Parents can shed light on how to motivate their own child and give you tips about how to reach that student. They can let you know about things that are going on at home that could be affecting their child. We need to do what we can to involve parents in their child’s learning. I was talking to a teacher at our school yesterday who was complaining about the number of students who had not completed a recent project. We decided together that the best thing to do would be to make parents aware. The teacher mentioned to me today that 24 parents had been contacted and now the classroom was filled with kids wanting to complete the project. I call this “tag teaming” a kid. How are students going to learn to be accountable if we don’t force them to be? It is way to easy to give a kid a failing grade for an incomplete project.

If  parents are calling the school or sending you email, they obviously care and deserve to be heard. Would you call your child’s school without a valid reason? At our school, we do everything that we can to keep parents informed (Bulletins on PowerSchool, information on website, Twitter, FaceBook, etc.) but there is nothing better than a personal connection (phone call or meeting). The information that we send out on digital and social media is so impersonal. If you had a concern about your own child, wouldn’t you like to speak to an actual person who also cares about your child?

Relationships are so important for educational leaders. Are you doing what you can to involve parents in the learning process?


About Derek Hatch
Principal in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

2 Responses to School is a Partnership

  1. cwainikka says:

    This is so true, Derek! Thanks for your post, I totally agree.

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