When we think of the people involved in teaching and learning, we tend to think of the teachers and the learners. Yet, in the context of young learner and teenage education, this leaves out a very important stakeholder – the parents or carers!
Parents have a very keen interest in what happens with the learning of the children in their care. As a teacher, having open and constructive channels of communication with parents is essential. Having an effective strategy to bring them into the classroom and the learning process is very often the key to success.
It is important to be clear about our aim and message when we are communicating with someone. Clear communication explains complicated ideas in ways that you can understand using simple and familiar language. It leaves no doubts or ambiguity about the purpose of the communication.
Once you have removed jargon, how do you fill in the gaps? Good communication is essential: your challenge is to find a new way to say these things that gives a clear and specific picture. An explanation can help, but an image or a comparison is even better!
Stick to the point. Be brief. This shows respect for our audience (you appreciate that their time is valuable), but it also helps to keep us clear and precise.
A good example of concise information is the Can-Do statements that we use to describe learner competence. When we say that a B1 Preliminary candidate ‘CAN understand routine information and articles and ‘CAN understand straightforward instructions or public announcements’ we create a simple image.
Tone and register are important. Too formal and you will come across as distant and unapproachable; too casual and you will not sound professional. Consider the age, style, and expectations of the parents – look at yourself through their eyes and meet their expectations.
Coherent communication is about being logical and effective. A good argument must feel like the shortest, easiest line from idea A to idea B – no detours and no gaps. If you are talking about why taking an exam at the end of a course is important, be sure that all your points are connected and relevant to your main argument.
Correct communication is appropriate and error-free – especially in writing. This includes proofreading but also making sure that any details (such as names of exams, dates, and addresses) are correct and consistent throughout your message.
Good communication will tell parents everything that they need to know, and also what they are expected to do next. Have you ticked all the items on the list in the tip in the first point? If you need parents to do something, did you mention exactly what it is?
At Mind Boosters Academy, we ensure that our students are well trained and have solid knowledge about the teaching, learning process, and are equipped with online teaching techniques. The B.Ed program consists of the following papers in the Year I Childhood and growing up, Learning and Teaching, Assessment and evaluation, advanced pedagogies, and application of ICT. The B.Ed students in Mind Boosters Academy are given micro-teaching practice, regular teaching practice, and internship. The microteaching sessions enhance their lesson planning abilities and regular teaching practice trains them on teaching practice. The B.Ed students will also learn about various subject pedagogies, which will give them an insight into various teaching practices.