The Importance of Family-Teacher Partnerships
that better meets the needs of each child and
gives you a wonderful sense of job satisfaction.

ier and more enjoyable to interact with those
families. When I started making an effort to speak to
I have good relationships with most of the par-
every parent at drop-off and pickup time every
ents in my program, but there are a few who ei-
day, I felt so much more comfortable. I no longer
ther avoid me or are needy all the time. I decided
dreaded seeing parents, and I realized that par-
to approach my difficult parents and ask each of
ents were giving information to me about their
them for a suggestion of how we could improve
child and family that I had no idea about. I feel
our communication. I was amazed at the simple,
like I know these children so much better, having
specific suggestions that most gave me. Even the
had this opportunity to talk with their parents,
ones who said, “I don’t know,” have been more re-
and this information has changed my curriculum
sponsive since I asked the question. I find myself
and the way I interact with these children. I can
looking forward to our check-ins now.

see right away the difference it makes for chil-
dren. I love my job!
Successful communication with families helps
teachers feel more effective and confident.

Families can provide crucial resources to the
program through their ideas, perspective, ex-
pertise, materials, volunteer energy, and com-
munity connections.

I knew I should be communicating with parents,
The other day I was trying to put together a
but it is so hard for me to talk to adults, so I
camping curriculum, and I just mentioned in
started with a daily news flash board. Every day
passing to a parent that I was looking for small
I listed several activities we did that day. Parents
tents. She said she had a couple I could use, and
started coming up to me, asking me about the
then she got so excited about the curriculum that
activities and thanking me for the information! It
she offered to bring in some camping pictures
was a great way for me to start communication
and equipment we could use. She even called
with them.

another parent to ask if they had some old flash-
lights to donate. I keep forgetting what incredible
Many teachers experience the satisfaction of
children’s increased trust in them when com-
munication increases with families.

Ever since I started talking to Yvette’s grand-
mother, I’ve noticed that Yvette really seeks me
out when she needs help. I think she appreciates
the bond she sees developing between me and
her grandmother.

Facing the challenges in your relationships with
parents helps deepen your connection and trust
with them. When you solve difficult issues with
families, you become less afraid and find it eas-
resources families are to our program. Somehow,
I always think I have to do everything myself.

As these educators’ stories show, when they
began to enter into partnerships with families,
their jobs became easier. The interactions they
had once found to be intimidating weren’t so
scary anymore. They experienced more support
from families for their program and for their
teaching, and they felt more connections to fam-
ilies and children. It was easier for them to do
good work with children, and that made them
enjoy their jobs more. These are the benefits for
teachers of creating partnerships with families.