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Strategy #2: To foster ongoing two-way communication…offer classroom curriculum orientations

Story:  Amanda was glad to meet the parents of students in her 9th grade math class at back-to-school night, and liked the idea that the parents followed their student’s schedule through the day.  She made sure she provided a clear handout of the main topics and expectations for the course, and encouraged parents to call her if they had questions.  In reflecting on the experience with her mentor, Maxine, she expressed several concerns, “With only 10 minutes per class, I felt a bit rushed, and the parents didn’t have a chance to ask questions about what their students would be learning, or how I approach teaching math.  And we barely talked about my expectations for students doing homework and how they could be involved in supporting their students. How am I supposed to communicate all this?”

Talk about…

  • What are ‘next steps’ after brief orientations like back-to-school’ nights?
  • How can teachers find out about parents’ questions and respond to them?

The Classroom Curriculum Orientation tool can help Amanda and her mentor explore ways to build upon this initial contact with parents.