Author: Lara Date Posted: 20 October 2016
Imagine you are training to run a marathon.
Your family are right behind you: encouraging you when you go out to run, providing the right fuel that your body needs and running a recovery bath when you need one!
Also, your friends and workplace are right behind you as well: they cheer you on, offer advice when you need it, help stretch out aching muscles and some may even run with you to give encouragement.
Although you are the one doing the hard work, it would certainly help you keep going towards your goal with a positive attitude, wouldn’t it?
Our children are the same. Encouragement and the knowledge that others believe in their abilities is powerful for kids who are may be struggling, and when that encouragement and positive influence hits them from home and their education centre, the odds of overcoming the issue are that much higher.
A child’s education should always be a partnership between parents and their child’s educator, not just a relationship where you say hello and how are you to each other in the morning.
Partnerships involve knowledge of each other and a common goal to work towards. Each person involved has their specific tasks that are integral to the achievement of the goal and every person’s input is valuable.
Imagine the learning opportunities available to a child when there is continuity between educational centre and home, with all shareholders working towards that child’s success!
So how do you set up and manage an effective educational partnership?
Build a Relationship
Families are a child’s first teacher and educators build on this when the child is old enough to attend their centre. Both families and educators should recognise the value each brings to the partnership and the fact that everyone is there to assist the achievement of the child’s educational goal.
Create an open dialogue with each other and check in regularly to share progress. Sometimes a communication book may be useful in this situation so regular updates can be given by caregivers and educators.
3. Mutual Respect
If a partnership is going to achieve the common goal of a better educational outcome for a child, both the caregiver and educator must have respect for each other. Families can extend on what is occurring at the education centre and educators can extend on what is happening at home. This continuity assist the development of the child.
4. Clear Expectations
Without a common goal, there is no clear purpose to the partnership. It is like a rope being pulled at both ends: there is no real progress in either direction! This comes back to effective communication too: everyone involved needs to know exactly what the goal of the partnership is so everyone can work towards it together.
5. Quality Programs
Caregivers and educators should ensure that the program formulated is appropriate for the child’s needs and interests and that it will help to achieve the goals of the partnership. Both caregivers and educators have unique insights into the child and their knowledge and assistance should be considered when creating the program.
A child’s chance of educational success increases when they are supported by their families and their educators in an encouraging and positive partnership. We are here to give all children their best chance of success and an effective partnership between school and home is just one way we can all make a difference.
If you think your service could use some extra support in creating partnerships with families, get in touch! We’d be happy to provide your team with a professional development workshop that covers these 5 steps in detail, we'll also customise the workshop to dig deeper into any other areas your service needs to better support your staff and your families.