When the communication is effective, everyone including students, parents, teachers and the administrators benefit.
In today’s times, millennials are much more isolated and disconnected from human interaction than ever before. Thus, it is incredibly important that parents work together with educational institutes ensuring their children get the best of all points of connection.
Also, it’s widely recognized that the more involved parents are in their child’s education, the better the pupil performs at the school or college. Educators also benefit when parents’ involvement is strong, simply because they gain an awareness of the ways they can build on personal strengths to support the nurturing of their students. As teachers understand more about students’ lives, they are able to connect classroom learning in real and more meaningful ways.
The communication between an educational institute and parents of its students is crucial, not only regarding the students’ academic but also regarding their social, emotional and cognitive development. But when both parties, parents and teachers face challenges in their respective roles, they need to find a middle ground where either and both work to create deeper, more meaningful partnerships that truly support learning.
In order to establish and maintain this interest, there needs to be regular and reliable communication and sharing of information between the institute, it’s representatives, students and the parents.
Effective communication today isn’t just limited to attending conclaves. It is about increasing opportunities for expanded learning, strengthening the connection between students, parents and the tutors while creating an overall positive experience for all the parties included.
The communication requirements of educational institutions are diverse. Whether connecting to staff members, parents or students, the method needs to be reliable and efficient. Just deploying an SMS system that keeps everyone informed on time can go a long way.
Barriers To Effective Classroom Communication
There are many reasons for the parents and also from the institutes for this lack of involvement. Some barriers are created by limited resources, while others originate from the beliefs, perceptions and attitudes of all the parties.
- Shortage of time – Parents have to work to maintain the financial standing of the family. Thus, often times looking after the educational well being of the kid is ignored, assuming school/university/college will take care of it all for them.
- Bad experience – Some parents don’t feel welcomed to go to the institute. They might have had bad experience or memories of their college/school. Thus, they stay away.
- Lack of knowledge – They don’t feel confident enough to talk or not know what to talk to teachers, and some do not know the system of the institute.
- Lack of involvement from the institute – When the institute doesn’t care about parental involvement in education, most parents don’t care too. Some parents really need to be encouraged to involve more in their children’s education. Furthermore, when the parents want to involve in their children’s education, some institutes don’t encourage or sometimes accuse them of interference.
- Language barrier – Language barriers can also prevent communication between parents, and the institute. Without proper support, some parents are excluded from important groups and conversations.
- Less involvement in the upper grades – There is typically less parent involvement at the middle and senior high school or college levels, as adolescents strive for greater autonomy and separation from their parents.
However, all of these can be eliminated with very little effort from Parents as well as from the Institute’s side.
What Should They be Doing Instead
Parents need to be able to both receive information from and pass information to the institute in a range of ways convenient to their circumstances.
In recent years, technology has played an increasingly key role in bridging the gap. Schools and colleges have been harnessing the power of technology to open up the effective channel of communication.
Through various technology-enabled means, contact can be established between all the parties irrespective of the location and time availability keeping parents updated with their child’s progress and achievements.
SMS updates, Email communications and having a mobile app that informs and coordinates between all parties have become imperative for the modern education systems to sustain and thrive in providing the world-class education as well as keep its teachers’, students’ and the respective parents happy.
Here are a few strategies Institutes must adopt in order to ensure effective classroom-communication.
- Institutes must ask for Communication Preferences
What communication vehicle does your teacher/parent prefer? Always ask. Finding out how your teacher/parent would best like to be communicated with can seem simple, but helps in building trust. It may even help you get a faster response as well.
|The perfect option should be a medium that allows one-on-one communication.
SMS is a channel that is personal yet has a professional feel to it. Also, it is a widely accepted medium and is non-invasive and every mobile phone has the option of an incoming SMS.
Email is another strong option but its dependency on the internet restricts it to limited circles.
A phone call is the most basic option but in today’s busy world not many might be comfortable taking a call during office hours.
- Ask for the Reports
If parents want frequent and ongoing feedback about how their children are performing they should let the institute know in advance.
|Again, SMS and even email work well here as institutes can forward individual feedback. A simple text can convey the message without taking much time of either party.|
- Ask about your Role
As parents, we don’t really know the roles we can play in our child’s classroom and the ways we can best support their learning. And every child’s teacher will differ in their opinions of your role. So when they get the first chance, parents must take the first step and ask what roles they can play in supporting the learning.
Improving In-School Communication
Internal communication is just as important as communicating outside the institute.
Elements of good practice for internal communication includes:
- Setting an example for clear and consistent communication
- Being open to two-way communication
- Face-to-face communication
- Treat all events as great communication opportunities
How can institutes take charge of improving communication with their students?
Millennial are always on their mobile. Institutes can use it to their advantage by choosing a medium that never fails to attract – SMS.
- SMS is something that we accept easily
- Has a 98% open-rate
- Is opened within 3 minutes of being received
- Is non-invasive medium
- Is considered both personal and professional
- Is personalized, relevant and informative
- Allows one-to-one communication
Also, most institutes these days have an online presence allowing them to integrate SMS functionality via API integration that further allows sending SMS directly from the platform.
Sending timely notification not only allows parents to act timely but also adds positivity to the communication experience.
Institutes can use SMS to send timely notifications for:
- To remind parents about upcoming meetings, institute circulars, special announcements
- To send quick messages for fee-related notification
- To send the student progress report
- To intimate homework for lower grades
- To intimate attendance of the students
- Schedule or change updates
- Communicate important deadlines
- Send links with admission information
- Send helpful tips
- More communication between teachers & parents
- To inform, notify or update the staff
A university in Italy offers an SMS service which allows prospective students to train for the admission test. By sending a text on designated short code students receive the test and after submitting the test they receive a personalized SMS with their individual scores.
A university in Nebraska sends early acceptance notifications via personalized SMS to subscribing students.
The chain of schools and pre-schools in India, Euro Kids sends a timely SMS notification to parents regarding timings, assignments, holidays and more using their Buddy App.
Most educational institutes want to have a better relationship with their teachers and parents of students. The co-operation and support of both parents and teachers can make a real difference to how children engage in learning. Institutes who wish to get it right must build communication step by step – engaging students and parents in the learning process from the very beginning.
Don’t forget to let us know in the comments below, how are you working on your classroom communication?