K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

LEARN NC was a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education from 1997 – 2013. It provided lesson plans, professional development, and innovative web resources to support teachers, build community, and improve K-12 education in North Carolina. Learn NC is no longer supported by the School of Education – this is a historical archive of their website.

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It isn’t easy to go into a school with an established culture, policies, and hierarchy and immediately find a way to fit in — especially when it’s your first job and you’re fresh out of college. And it isn’t always easy to communicate effectively with parents, either, especially when they may vary from extremely interested in their child’s education to seemingly uninterested. But as with so many things, effective communication is often about avoiding problems rather than solving them.

Communicating with parents

The key to communicating effectively with parents is to communicate continually — not just when there’s a problem. Start from the first day of school and keep them informed throughout the year.

This series of articles will help you find and take advantage of regular opportunities to communicate with parents. Start with our introduction, which will guide you through the basics of parent communication: being caring, professional, open, and organized. Then read about opportunities to communicate with parents. If you’re just a little bit technologically savvy, you might try using a web page to communicate with parents: read about how a first-grade teacher does it.

Working with mentors

Even if you have a great mentor, this series of articles can help you get the most out of the relationship. Written by beginning teachers, mentors, and mentor coordinators, the articles will help you see the mentoring process from all sides.

Working with colleagues, assistants, and administrators

How can you make the most of your opportunities to work with your fellow teachers, administrators, and assistants?