When taking Early Childhood Education (ECE) training, you learn a lot about how to instruct and inspire children in your classroom. However, there's another element of early childhood education to think about — the families. According to the National Education Association, when families are engaged, their children tend to be more successful. Sometimes, though, it can be challenging to get families engaged. Try these tips.
1. Educate About the Parent-Teacher Association
As you take your ECE training, you will likely hear a lot of tips and ideas about how to communicate with families. Take those skills and talk with your students' families about the importance of the parent-teacher association (PTA). If possible, convince the parents to join this group. Typically, parent-teacher associations meet about once a month, and this group allows teachers, administration, and parents to collaborate. Then, they can help make decisions about the direction of the curriculum, the culture of the school, and special activities.
2. Encourage Involvement With Special Activities
Many parents and families are busy these days. According to a Pew Research study, families are busier than they have been in any other generation. They may have multiple jobs, salaried positions requiring countless hours of work, or freelance careers that never seem to end. As a result, they simply may not have the time to engage in many additional activities, including those at their child’s school.
Kids tend to enjoy school and potentially even learn more when their parents are involved in the process. Encourage families and parents to get involved by offering a range of activities with different levels of involvement. Some ideas might include special activities such as field trips, class parties, field days, or simpler things, such as newsletter contributions or scheduling special visitors. To get more ideas on how to do this, sign up for the ProSolutions Training course “Getting Families Engaged!”
3. Hold Parent-Teacher Conferences
Whether parents are interested in getting involved with parent-teacher associations or special events, they are almost always interested in parent-teacher conferences. This gives you a chance to talk with your student's parents in a one-on-one environment. During these meetings, you get to know the parent and family, along with developing an idea of the child's home life and where some of their personality traits come from. At the same, the parents get to ask questions or express concerns about how their child is doing. To ensure you are prepared for this process, you should take the “Parent/Teacher Conferences” class while completing your ECE training.
4. Help Families Find Resources
In all of the above situations, communicating with families is very important. To make this easier, try taking the “Art of Communication Part I: Listening to Children” as well as the follow up course “The Art of Communication Part II: Communicating With Families.” These courses will help to ensure that your communication skills are strong.
Beyond this, keep in mind that parents may need help with special things. So that you are poised to assist them, take the ECE training course “Advocating for Children, Parents, and Staff in Early Care and Education.” When you are armed with that type of information, you make yourself invaluable to your parents and, by extension, their children.
To learn more or to start your ECE training, contact us at ProSolutions Training today. We offer all the courses you need to earn or renew your credentials.