When you first talk to your student's parents, they may seem like friendly strangers. As a principal, you have to direct and enlighten your students and strengthen your relationship with them. An important aspect of being a principal is that you have to establish a trusting relationship with students’ parents as well. When talking with parents, it can be difficult to know where to begin. There are many different ways to work with parents and build a relationship with them regarding their kids' education interests. The following tips should help you in establishing an effective relationship with students’ parents as a school principal.
Set Up A Walk-In Line
When talking to parents, think about what you need to say first. Then decide which questions you will ask and how. If you know the parents already or have met before, use that to get the point across and convey your thoughts.
Interaction with Students and Parents
As a principal, you must be equipped, certified, and willing to take part in activities, such as lunchtime engagements, after-school trips, field trips, or extracurricular activities. This is vital because students are more likely to talk if they're given a reason. This will not only help you in knowing your students but will also help you in understanding what their parents expect from a principal.
Integrated Platform for School
An integrated platform will help you in delivering positive learning outcomes. With the help of Teachmint, you can generate student reports and communicate the same to parents. With an integrated school platform, you can communicate with all the stakeholders and ensure transparency in school management processes.
Make Connections Through Activities
If you have a special interest in a specific subject, leverage that opportunity to connect to parents. You can invite parents to talk or deliver a lecture on that specific subject. It would be beneficial if the parents have professional insights regarding that subject like a doctor can deliver a biology lecture. As a principal, you can also conduct career days and invite parents from varied professions to share their insights.
Why Should Principals Build Strong Relationships with Parents?
Relationships Foster Respect
Parents may not always agree with your decisions, but when they respect you, such disputes become easier to bear. Having parental respect makes those difficult decisions a little simpler to make. Principals are not perfect, and not all of their decisions will be gold. When principals fail, parents can give them some leeway because of mutual respect.
Relationships Foster Trust
Trust can be the hardest thing to earn. Parents are frequently skeptical. They want to know that you are looking out for their children's best interests. When parents bring issues or concerns to you, they may be certain that the issues will be resolved when they leave your office. Earning a parent's trust has numerous advantages.
Relationships Enable Honest Feedback
The ability to collect feedback from parents on a wide range of school-related topics is perhaps the most significant advantage of having a relationship with them. An excellent principal seeks candid input. They want to hear what works well, and what does not. Taking this feedback and investigating it further can result in significant improvements in a school.
Relationships Help You do Your Job Better
The job of a school principal is demanding. Nothing can be predicted. Every day presents new and unexpected problems. It simply makes your job easier when you have positive relationships with parents. When there is a healthy relationship, you can reach out to parents and inform them about their child’s issues easily.
Tips for Developing Positive Relationships With Parents
When You Meet Parents, Smile
Welcome them because most parents only engage with instructors on occasion. Make sure that at least 90% of your interactions with them are good, warm, and kind. The impressions made by brief interactions in the school corridor linger for a long time.
Collaborate With Them
Tell them you want to collaborate with them, that you value their support, and look forward to working with them. You can also utilize their expertise if they are in a related profession or possess related insights regarding a particular subject.
Inform parents about what's going on in their child’s class (monthly is ideal): what they're learning, what they've accomplished, what you're excited about, what they're excited about, and the development and growth you're seeing. This can be done by having a meeting with the teacher and parents of the students.
As a principal, you should communicate with the parents regularly. Tell them about the policies of the school, your vision to improve the learning curve of your students, and other issues that should concern parents.
Begin With the Good News
When meeting with parents to discuss a problem, start with positive reinforcement. Every child has something positive to say about himself or herself. Look for it. Spread the word. Then express your worry. Follow this tip to the letter to build a trusting relationship.
Invite Parents to Participate
Distribute a survey at the start of the school year. Discover what the parents know and what skills they have. Invite them in, especially if it is related to the curriculum or subjects. Allow them to share their cultural traditions, interests, passions, talents, and information with you.
Inform Parents of How They Can Help
Many parents want to help their children in studies and extracurricular activities. However, as children grow older, parents are less likely to be called for assistance and are unsure of what to do. There is always something parents can do to help their kids in the classroom. Teachmint's Parent App can help parents keep track of students.
We have heard a lot about the importance of teachers developing positive relationships with their student’s parents. Similarly, a principal must look for opportunities to foster collaborative connections with parents. Though the relationship between the principal and the parents is considerably more remote than the one between the teacher and the parents, it has significant value. Principals that seize the chance to connect with parents will find it to be a good investment.
Suggested Read: In-Depth Guide on Starting a New School in India