NEA and Parenting Magazine Take the Pulse of Teacher-Parent Partnerships
By Teri Cettina
They deal with smart-mouths, spitballs, and snack allergies. You’re stuck with homework battles, bus bullies, and AWOL permission slips. Educating kids has its challenges for both teachers and parents, and the kids are no doubt whining about both of you. But, oh, those sweet slivers of success, those moments when the proverbial lightbulb goes off in a child’s head. They are the experiences that make it all worthwhile. (Certainly neither of you is in it for the money.)
Parents and teachers are the most important adults in a child’s life, but they don’t always see eye to eye—making it more difficult for students to achieve. “When kids know that their parents and teacher are on the same page, they tend to work harder in class, finish their homework, and—even more important—see that the grown-ups in their lives are working together to help them be successful,” says Lily Eskelsen, vice president of the National Education Association (NEA) and former Utah teacher of the year. That’s why we partnered with the NEA to take the pulse of today’s teacher-parent partnership. One thousand respondents—half parents, half teachers—were willing to fess up. Here, the survey’s most revealing findings, along with insights from an A+ panel of parents and educators.
Parents grade teachers: A
Two-thirds of parents have never had a problem with a teacher!
“I love my older son’s teacher this year. Although he struggles as a learner, she always points out the positive about him. Not many teachers do that; there is often too much concentration on what is wrong vs. what is right.” — Liz Nolan, Northborough, MA
“I taught a student who was hard to connect with on a personal level and seemed depressed for half of first grade and all of second grade. When he finished sixth grade and was going to go on to middle school, his mother told me that I was the best teacher he’d had and they still kept my picture on their refrigerator. That touched my heart and reminded me that we don’t always realize the impact we have on students’ lives.” — Jon Cefkin, Denver
Join @NEAToday and NEA Vice President Lily Eskelsen on Twitter Thursday, August 23 from 9-10 PM EST for more tips and resources around building strong parent-educator relationships. Use the #B2Schat hashtag to follow and join the conversation.