Engaging Parents Effectively To Remove Barriers in Learning

Effective and successful communication with parents makes a difference. Parents who are allies in their child’s academic and social development make a difference. This course helps all teachers develop better communication and presentation skills when interacting with parents with the goal of clearly articulating expectations, providing evidence of successes and areas requiring improvement and ways in which the parent may help their child succeed. It requires planning and having strategies and

skills to articulate your vision of a successful classroom and their child’s talents and challenges.

This course focuses on collaborating, communicating and conferencing with parents to promote student success. The teacher as leader and the teacher as manager will learn effective communication and organizational skills for working with parents to solve academic and behavioral challenges to ensure positive student outcomes. Based on the underlying principals inherent in the Value Set of Safety, Order and Rights® and effective teaching strategies, participants will learn to create an effective plan for interacting with parents utilizing proven communication skills. The plan leads to a well-directed discussion about the problems the child is having in school and moves parents from a defensive position to a position where they become committed participants in the solution.

Participants will:

  • know that all communications with parents and community are important and vital to the process of removing barriers to learning for individual students.
  • understand and be able to implement the Safety, Order and Rights value set and understand how these form a lens through which all parent and community interactions may be understood and articulated.
  • identify the Seven C’s of effective communication and how they may be used to discuss any topic with parents.
  • locate and learn about federal and state laws as well as district policies that may drive communication with parents.
  • implement and use effectively a 4-part communication plan (i.e., C.A.R.D.) that will guide in communication with parents regardless of topic or context.
  • identify the nature of a “crucial conversation” and in particular how educators can honor the interests and emotions of parents while keeping the focus on the best interests of their child(ren).
  • know it is a positive development when parents share “concerns” and how to view such interactions as an invitation to partner around what is best for each learner.
  • develop methods for turning conversations into opportunities to frame engagement around what may, or may not, create a barrier to student learning.
  • formulate a conferencing plan to be used as a basis for conducting all parental conferences;
  • use appropriately student contracts to be honored by the student, parents, and administrators.


Teachers who have taken this course have this to say:

“This course was extremely helpful in learning to communicate effectively with parents. What I really liked was that there was a mix of different sources such as websites, links and videos. I have so many valuable resources to now share with parents and explore myself. No matter what school you teach in, there is always going to be that difficult parent or that hot topic that nobody wants to touch. As I was taking this course I felt like someone knew what I was going through all these years as a teacher dealing with parents. Thank you so much for all the insightful information.”

“Out of everything that I learned, I found the 7 C’s to communication to be most valuable. I can use this with not only parents but also with students and my colleagues. This is a way to help diffuse any situation or conversation from hitting a sour note. It is a way to make a conservation or meeting most productive. Yes, I believe that the SOR will be helpful in my classroom. It will provide students with a core set of values that will be upheld! They will know that a classroom is safe and protective of their own individual needs. By establishing the SOR earlier on, parents will feel that their student is in an environment that is safe and conducive to the optimal learning needs of their child. If a parent knows that SOR is happening, they will most likely feel safe to engage in the environment of the classroom. They will feel welcomed in getting involved in the educational needs of their own child.”

“Having the “how will you say it?” sheet available for my future parent teacher conferences will be very useful. It is a step by step plan that will help even the most difficult conferences go more smoothly. Soliciting a commitment from the parent is the key to eventual success. That buy in by the parent is what can help guide the student back on the correct behavioral track.”

“I have found the 7’C’s very valuable because I will be able to use it as a checklist to make sure I am keeping parent conferences on track. I work with special ed students so I value all that I learned about removing barriers when the barrier involves student behavior. The 7 step outline for these behavior meetings will make me feel more confident in delivering my message and keeping me on track during the meeting. I believe the Safety, Order and Rights value set will be helpful in my classroom and increasing effective parent engagement because when they begin to show resistance if I bring it back to the value set they won’t be able to be so defensive of their child because they will be able to see the bigger picture. I really enjoyed this course and learned a lot that I will be able to use in my classroom in order to more effectively engage parents so that no barriers prevent learners from accessing the classroom environment they need.”

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