The Evidence Portal

Building teacher-parent relationships

Flexible activity

The activity of building teacher-parent relationships involves teachers consciously building trusting and warm relationships with the parents of their students. This relationship recognises the importance of parents being actively involved in their child’s education and the role teachers can play in nurturing this involvement.

How can it be implemented?

This relationship can be implemented at any opportunity teachers have to interact with the parents of their students: telephone calls, notes sent home with students, newsletters, sending home weekly parent handouts, inviting parents to visit the classroom, connecting with parents either in small groups or larger meetings.

Who is the target group?

This flexible activity has two target groups: the parents of children in a teacher’s class; the teachers of parents’ children.

What programs conduct this activity?

The Incredible Years Teacher and Child Training Program (IY): Teacher-parent involvement include phone calls from the teacher to parents, newsletters, and homework activities.

Second Step Early Learning (SSEL): Weekly handouts sent home to parents with activities that complement classroom exercises. In addition, parent-teacher meetings are held one or two times a year.

What else should I consider?

Consideration should be given to the sustainability of ongoing parent-teacher relationship maintenance, given the many other responsibilities and commitments teachers have. In addition, many parents are time-poor and might find it challenging to find the time to engage with their child’s teacher and school. For those parents, who might not have had a positive school experience, engaging with their child’s education process in general and teacher in particular might be challenging and fraught with negative memories and experiences.

Further resources

  • Webster‐Stratton, C., Jamila Reid, M. And Stoolmiller, M. 2008. Preventing conduct problems and improving school readiness: evaluation of The Incredible Years Teacher and Child Training Programs in high-risk schools. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 49, 471-488.
  • Upshur, C. C., Wenz-Gross, M., Rhoads, C., Heyman, M., Yoo, Y.  and Sawosik, G. 2019. A randomized efficacy trial of the second step early learning (SSEL) curriculum. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 62, 145-159.
Last updated:

24 Feb 2023

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