Guest post by Joe Mazza
This Week’s Parent-Teacher Chat (#ptchat) on Twitter
Creating a Bank of 2-Way Communication Offerings Between Home & School
On this week’s #ptchat our conversational goal is to provide educators with as many classroom and school-based two-way (home-school) communication offerings as possible. At the end of the chat, we’ll use those “tweets” to develop a shared Google Doc for schools to use/update throughout the 12-13 school year.
Communication is evident when educators and families “…communicate about school programs and student progress in varied, clear and productive ways. Create two-way communication channels from school to home and from home to school, so that families can easily keep in touch with teachers, administrators, counselors and other families” (Epstein, 2011). Below are the rest of Epstein’s Six Types of Involvement.
1. Parenting, in which schools help families with their parenting skills by providing information on children’s developmental stages and offering advice on learning-friendly home environments;
2. Communicating, or working to educate families about their child’s progress and school services and providing opportunities for parents to communicate with the school;
3. Volunteering, which ranges from offering opportunities for parents to visit their child’s school to finding ways to recruit and train them to work in the school or classroom;
4. Learning at home, in which schools and educators share ideas to promote at-home learning through high expectations and strategies so parents can monitor and help with homework.
5. Decision-making, in which schools include families as partners in school organizations, advisory panels, and similar committees.
6. Community collaboration, a two-way outreach strategy in which community or business groups are involved in education and schools encourage family participation in the community.
Communication can travel in a variety of ways. The two most common ways are one-way and two-way. One-way communication is limited because it is linear or occurs in a straight line from the sender to the receiver. This type of communication serves strictly to inform, persuade or command.
Two-way communication is different because it includes feedback from the receiver back to the sender. Two-way communication is negotiated, meaning that both the sender and receiver listen to each other and gather information they need before responding. They are also willing to make changes to work together.
Join us this Wednesday, July 11th at 9PM EDT / 6PM PST as parents and teacher build a working document to support two-way home-school communication efforts.