1.) Always smile and make small talk!
2.) Always have your kids blow kisses and wave to parents you may see on campus. "Wave to Sara's Mommy."
3.) Take the time and do something extra for your families the first day of school. This year I sent home bags of popcorn that said "Celebrate ___'s first day in kindergarten." Cost me $5 for a classroom set of microwave popcorn. Head on over to my TpT to see the certificate!
4.) Make a big deal about sending supplies in. Parents spend their hard earned money buying crayons and pencils, so let them know you appreciate their donation even though you may not need any more crayons! I send home thank you notes that I have pre-made where I just have to write the student's name.
5.) Also make a big deal about the first time the parent does something nice for you. Just yesterday I had a parent come in 15 minutes before school was out and I had her stuff my backpacks. Did she have to do that, no... she could have spent time with her own child. But instead, she helped me! I really do appreciate that and I want her to know that!
6.) ALWAYS make the first conversation you have with a parent a positive one! Even if the child was bouncing off the walls or whatever. Chances are, that if that child is having issues, they may just know know how to act in school. Find something positive to share with the parent. (By all means, don't tell them they were prefect, but tell them they really listened during a story or really did good writing their name.)
7.) Always make the parent feel as if you are on their side. Stand up for what they believe in even though you may have to go to bat with whoever. Parents are should be considered one of our customers and it is our job to provided them the best experience with the school as possible. In order to foster that trust, you have to make the parents feel as if you are 100% on their side. (You can explain to them school policies etc, but never make parents feel as if they don't have a choice, because they do!)
8.) I am a firm believer in COLLABORATION! Parents need to feel as if they are a part of the team and you have the power to foster this relationship! Do whatever it takes to make them feel included.
A fellow teacher recently told me that it is the parents' job to get involved not our to involve them. I could not disagree any less than 100%.
Bottom line is... every parent does the best they can with the cards they have been dealt and WHY NOT help them along if they need it? In the long run it's only going to help the student be more successful in life! And I don't know about you... but I won't participate in anyone holding anyone else back in life!
Hope everyone is having a great school year so far! Things are settling down for me so I should be a little more present!
Have a great day!