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According to the National Association for the Education of Young Children, numerous studies have proven that when families engage in their children's school life, the support aids the children's academic success. These children tend to be more prepared and high-achievers. One of the main areas where you, as an educator, can get your students' families more involved is through parent-teacher conferences. To have positive results from these interactions, here are a few helpful suggestions:
Publicize these conferences: Your students may come from a wide range of backgrounds, which is why it is important to not simply send out one email message or flyer to draw in parents. If many students have parents who speak another language, use services to translate your message. It is also wise to hold multiple session times and give advanced notice about when the conferences will be held. This will accommodate working parents, ensuring that the majority of your parents can attend.
Provide opportunities: During the conference, provide opportunities for how these parents can get involved through volunteering or helping students with their homework. This way, you are ensuring that your students will have the best chance for success.
Follow up: Don't drop communication with your students' parents after the conference. Instead, send out weekly or monthly newsletters highlighting all that your classroom is doing, along with providing ample opportunities for parents to get more involved.