Kirn Hans

Standard 7: Engage professionally with colleagues, parents/carers and the community

7.3.1: Understand strategies for working effectively, sensitively and confidently with parents/carers

Parent involvement benefits their children's education. When teachers reach out more often, parents learn how to help their children with school and also support the teachers to a greater extent (Epstein, 2010, p. 38). Clarke (2014) further lays out multiple impacts on schools by parents contributing to diversity in experience offered in the classroom and representation in local communities.

Texas School Guide, 2021

(Texas School Guide, 2021)

Other impacts of parent involvement:

  • Demonstrates priorities, influencing students attitudes (actions speak louder than words and  children often reflect the values their families espouse)

  • Can be advocates, safeguard students’ interests against external factors

  • Can assist the crossing of the Zone of Proximal Development (Palacios, González, & Moreno, 1992)

  • Can provide more one-on-one help than teachers with a full class

As such, I consider parents partners in education and aim to empower them through effective communication.

Parents are more naturally invested when they understand what their children are learning. Therefore, I plan to keep parents informed of curriculum materials, likely through means such as TIPS homework, which, as Epstein demonstrated, positively affects parent attitudes towards homework (2010, p. 506). Also exciting is the concept of writing notes to parents about what their children are doing well, not just badly. (Some ideas listed here are intriguing.)

Clarke (2014) emphasises teachers’ responsibility here, as left alone, not all parents are readily able to participate, reflecting a class divide in privilege. To combat this, I intend to provide parents with clear access points to assisting their child and the resulting progress. This way, I can ensure parents focus their efforts where they are more effective. Working parents have limited time and it is my responsibility to help them efficiently leverage their labours in supporting education.

Accessibility is also an important matter when dealing with parents. Each parent is going through unique circumstances and we cannot change anything but our approach. Parents, like their children, all have different needs. In software engineering, I saw the need to enable users with different physical abilities and skill levels, analogous to interacting with parents with different needs. In my secondary school in India, many parents were fluent in Hindi rather than English. Being multilingual myself, I am positioned to adopt similar methods to communicating with parents as I would to help learners with English as an Additional Language and/or Dialect. 

Situation Impacted areas
Poverty Monetary resources, time
Different primary language Communication
Disability/chronic illness Physical/mental energy, physical access
Difficult working hours Time
Low education Ability to support schoolwork
Lack of transportation Meetings at school
Examples of different needs

It's quite inspiring that we can empower parents to take a role in their children's education, a core part of their lives. To involve carers, teachers must first understand where they are coming from. This includes research on the district and its values. The strategies for community outreach will be vastly different for an urban school than a rural school, because the carers’ concerns are different. I'm looking forward to getting to know my school’s environment and equipping the resultant strategies into my toolkit as a teacher.


  • Clarke, M. and Pittaway, S. 2014 Marsh's becoming a teacher, 6th ed., Pearson Australia, Frenchs Forest, N.S.W. ISBN 9781442561861

  • Epstein, J. L. (2010). School, Family, and Community Partnerships (Preparing Educators and Improving Schools) (2nd ed.). Routledge.

  • Palacios, J., González, M.-M., & Moreno, M.-C. (1992). Stimulating the child in the zone of proximal development: The role of parents' ideas. (C. Zoltowska, Trans.). In I. E. Sigel, A. V. McGillicuddy-DeLisi, & J. J. Goodnow (Eds.), Parental belief systems: The psychological consequences for children (p. 71–94). Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.

  • Parents as Partners | Texas School Guide. (2021). Texas School Guide.