In trying to create a classroom culture full of self motivated learners, the next crucial step is to partner with Parents. They can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Which they are, is largely dependent upon you! How do you treat them? What is your attitude towards parents and what role do you want them to have? Plain and simple, at a minimum you want them backing up what you are saying in school. If you and your parents are not on the same page you are fighting a losing battle. Start the year by reiterating how important the culture of te classroom will be for everyone’s success. Maintain open communication with parents about what is happening and what you expect. Let then know what messages you are sending to the kids. Finally, be clear yet positive with parents. For example: “Although i understand your concern about Jimmy playing with Joey, learning to get beyond differences and issues is a major part of both Jimmy’s social growth and the class’s growth as a whole. I do not plan on purposefully separating then unless there is a need. When you and your neighbor disagree do you sell your house and leave town? Of course not, you learn to coexist without causing the other person harm. That may be the best we can get for these two boys, but avoiding each other does not make the problem go away.” This is an example I give because I tend to get this at least once a year from a parent whose child is complaining about an argument they had with another student. Being honest and open with Parents makes them more likely to be honest with you. Give them a chance to understand what you are teaching the class in terns of culture building and they will likely support you. Take the time to make Parents your ally at hone to back up classroom lessons that are used to build your culture of learners.
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