Poor communication has a negative impact on all teachers, administrators, parents, and students. Not only does it impact a student’s academic achievements and behaviors in class, but it can lead to a divide between the adults and set an ‘us versus them’ mentality. When this occurs, it makes for awkward interactions, and it eliminates the possibility of having a united front when one is needed.
While there are some causes that are unavoidable, a communication gap can exist between families and schools because parents have chosen not to be involved in their child’s education. Keep in mind, parents choosing this option create a different dynamic from those parents who want to be more involved in their child’s education but can’t because of barriers that exist such as cultural/language, lack of technology, limited education of the parents, or dealing with mental illness.
There are several reasons parents choose not to communicate with school staff or stay on top of their child’s grades:
- Not placing value in education
- Not trusting the school system or school employees
- Dealing with substance abuse issues
- Neglecting and/or abusing their child
- Not caring about their child
Teachers must interact with parents who have a complete lack of regard for their children’s care including their education. The only thing a teacher can do is continue to reach out to families whenever possible and provide the best care for students while they’re at school.
Making positive connections with family members, providing food and personal care items to students, and connecting families with local resources can help build a solid relationship and improve parent-teacher communications.
A committed teacher can assist. All children deserve to feel safe and cared for at home and at school. As the old saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child. That’s more true today than ever.