A Teacher's Guide to Communicating with Parents: Practical Strategies for Developing Successful Relationships

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Communicating with Parents: A Guide to Effective Practice is an essential guidebook for the K-12 education professional. This book takes an in-depth look at communicating with families of students in elementary and secondary schools and is founded on the most current research and practice. Divided into five main sections, this guide presents evidence-based content and strategies related to: Developing Caring Relationships in Schools, Communicating with Families for Student Success, Communicating with Families throughout the School Year, Communicating with Families in Meetings, and Addressing Difficult Topics with Families. Additionally, a broad-based school population is covered with pertinent information for working with families of: general education students, students with disabilities, culturally/linguistically diverse students, students from low socioeconomic status, and students with unique gifts and talents. The evidence-based material is enhanced and illustrated with examples, graphics, and professional reproducible materials, and on every page, educators will be given the most research-based content, sound examples, practical applications, and ready-to-use resources. An indispensible guide for all K-12 general education teachers, special educators, related services personnel, and administrators for both pre-service and in-service training.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"I was impressed that the authors covered cyberbullying. This chapter is on the cutting-edge and alone makes A Teacher's Guide to Communicating with Parents a worthwhile book for teachers in training."

- Blair Thompson, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, Kentucky

"A Teacher's Guide to Communicating with Parents is very informational as well as practical. The templates provide concrete examples for new teachers and would be an asset for any teacher."

- Amber L. Brown, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, Texas

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780137054060
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 2/17/2011
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 216
  • Sales rank: 797,426
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 10.70 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Tina Taylor Dyches earned her Ed.D. in specialized educational development and educational administration from Illinois State University. She is currently an Associate Professor and Graduate Coordinator in special education at Brigham Young University. She co-authored Guide to Writing Quality Individualized Educational Programs (Pearson, 2007) and Using Children’s Literature to Teach about Disabilities (Libraries Unlimited, 2008).

Nari Carter is currently enrolled in an Educational Research Ph.D. program at Brigham Young University. Her areas of specialization are teacher development and training. Nari co-authoredWhat Every Teacher Should Know About: Adaptations and Accommodations for Students with Mild to Moderate Disabilities (Pearson, 2009). She is a contributing author of the forthcoming text, Working with Families of Children with Special Needs: Family and Professional Partnerships and Roles (Pearson, 2011).

Mary Anne Prater earned her Ph.D. in special education at Utah State University. She is currently a Professor and Department Chair at Brigham Young University. She has also taught at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She authored Teaching Strategies for Students with Mild to Moderate Disabilities (Pearson, 2007) and co-authored Using Children’s Literature to Teach about Disabilities (Libraries Unlimited, 2008) and Working with Families of Children with Special Needs: Family and Professional Partnerships and Roles (Pearson, 2011).

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 — Developing Caring Relationships in Schools

Developing Caring Relationships with Your Students

Showing Interest in Each Student
Developing Caring Relationships with Special Populations

Developing Caring Relationships with Your Students’ Families

Understanding Your Students’ Family Backgrounds

Understanding the Strengths of Your Students’ Families

Understanding the Concerns of Your Students’ Families Summary

Chapter 2 — Skills for Communicating with Families

Communication Skills

Skills for Face-to-Face Communications

Skills for Written Communications

Considerations for Communicating with Diverse Types of Families

Considerations for Culturally/Linguistically Diverse Families

Considerations for Socioeconomically Diverse Families

Considerations for Families Raising Children with Different Abilities


Chapter 3 — Communicating with Families Throughout the School Year

Phone Communications

Purposes of Phone Communications

Advantages and Limitations

General Guidelines

What to Say in Phone Calls

How to Communicate During Phone Calls

Written Communications

Purposes of Written Communications

Advantages and Limitations

General Guidelines

What to Include in Written Communications

How to Create Written Communications

Electronic Communications

Purposes of Electronic Communications

Advantages and Limitations

General Guidelines

What to Include in Electronic Communications

How to Create Electronic Communications

Types of Written Communications

Disclosure Documents

Curriculum Plans



School-Home Notes

Progress Reports and Report Cards

Legal Documents


Chapter 4 — Communicating with Families in Meetings

Formal Meetings

Classroom Events (Back-to School Nights and Open Houses)

Teacher-Led Parent—Teacher Conferences

Student-Led Conferences

Individualized Education Program Meetings

Parent—Teacher Organization Meetings

Informal Meetings

School Visits (Hallway and Classroom Chats)

Home Visits

Parent Volunteers in Classrooms


Chapter 5 — Addressing Difficult Topics with Families

Academic Issues

What Are Academic Difficulties?

Support at School

Communicating with Parents

Social/Behavioral Issues

What Are Social/Behavioral Problems?

Support at School

Communicating with Parents

Child Abuse/Neglect

What Is Child Abuse and Neglect?

Reporting Abuse and Neglect

Support at School

Communicating with Parents


What Is Bullying?

Support at School

Communicating with Parents

School Crises/Emergencies

What Are School Crises/Emergencies?

Crisis Response and Communication Plans

Communicating with Parents


Appendix — Templates and Reproducibles


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