Parent and Teacher Collaboration in the Virtual Classroom

Parent-teacher collaboration is not a new term. However, learning from home and virtual classrooms are becoming increasingly familiar terms, but it doesn’t mean that the approach is comfortable just yet. Luckily, with the support of good parent-teacher collaboration, overcoming some of the challenges that come with the rapid shift of adapting to online learning can be as easy as ABC. With many parents working from home, there’s a need to share the “working” space with their children who are attending virtual lessons.

The benefits of a strong parent-teacher collaboration

There are powerful perks possible when it comes to a positive partnership between a parent and a teacher:

  • Additional support and mutual understanding of the challenges under remote circumstances (from both sides!).
  • The parent has better insight into what a child is learning and can assist the teacher by helping cement lessons passively outside of the remote classroom.
  • If a child is struggling, there is room for honest dialogue between the parent and teacher, which can help comfortably resolve issues.
  • It is better for the child’s ability to learn when there is a good relationship between their parents and teacher.

According to research, the correlation between a child showing healthy learning habits, better social skills, and better adaptability is evident if there is a strong teacher and parent collaboration. As Iheoma Iruka, chief research officer and director of the Center for Early Education Research noted:

“Strong partnerships [between parents and teachers] support children’s learning and ability to develop lifelong skills and networks, while also strengthening parents’ capacity to be engaged in their child’s school experience.”

Helping a parent create a conducive learning environment at home

If there are distractions at home, a child’s focus can disappear quicker than the coffee in the pot on a Monday morning. Because of the numerous distractions in a household, parents might need a little assistance in getting their child’s learning environment suitably set up into a successful, studious space.

To best collaborate with parents, consider sending out helpful tips about your favourite strategies for an online classroom. Small touches, such as having a designated area for learning or a small “class is now in session” banner near their space during class, can go a long way. Both in establishing focus for the student as well as providing some much needed time for parents working from home to focus on their work. 

There are also fantastic tools available to help a child maintain focus while learning at home. Mobile Guardian Pro offers Linked Parental Controls which allow parents access to Mobile Guardian’s mobile device management features. The Linked Parent Dashboard lets parents manage and monitor how their child uses their mobile device. The Mobile Guardian cloud-based web-filter, allows parents to limit what content is accessible from their child’s device.

Mobile Guardian’s Web-Filtering tools determine what can and can’t be found online and can be set to turn on & off during particular hours, or relative to the device’s location. It’s a powerful tool which helps a child switch from “procrastination” to “proaction” effortlessly.

Have an “open-door email” policy 

Parents might need help with setting up an effective at-home learning environment, but don’t know whether they can reach out, or simply don’t feel comfortable doing so. 

Break down any barriers of communication by putting a ‘remote’ open-door policy in place. In this way, your student’s parents know that they can come to you with any questions or concerns they might have about their child’s remote learning.

Simply send them an email indicating your availability, and remember to remind those you don’t hear from. They might have missed your initial message, or simply forgot.

Virtual events to promote parent-teacher collaboration

Parent-teacher meetings feel like the bread-and-butter of the parent and teacher partnership, but they’re not an option in a time where lockdown and self-isolation is the norm. 

That doesn’t mean the concept needs to be thrown out, though! 

Taking a leaf out of the virtual classrooms’ book; consider holding virtual gatherings and online PTA meetings. Hosting virtual PTA meetings provides a platform to help parents feel supported. It also gives the parents a forum to chat about tips and tricks to help keep their child motivated, encouraged and excited to learn despite the change in their learning environment.

It’s those small moments between meetings that connection and compassion can occur – and online meetings can provide a way to find them again.

Encouraging digital safety online 

The fast-paced shift from traditional book-based learning to online education packs a positive punch with numerous benefits – such as a child’s ability to learn early independence and self-discipline – but it also throws several challenges to the ring. From cyberbullying and scams to phishing and privacy leaks, it’s crucial that parents and teachers team together to ensure students are practising online safety. 

One effective way for parents and teachers to collaborate is through openly and consistently communicating the same message of safety to children. The effort is halved and the impact is doubled if online safety is taught in the classroom, and then encouraged at home after school hours.

Web-filtering also offers an excellent solution to avoid inappropriate sites from popping up while children browse and research. A cloud-based web-filter allows parents and teachers to limit and control what can be found online, reducing the risk of stumbling across inappropriate content online – regardless of the student’s internet connection.

With time and location-based activation, parents and teachers may rest assured that time inside and outside of the classroom is spent productively.

Read more: Online Learning: 4 Tips for Student Safety

Software that protects students while learning from home

The right EdTech can connect parents and teachers in their efforts to protect students online. The right insights of a child’s educational journey can be a game-changer in the virtual classroom and parent-teacher collaboration. 

If you’re interested in finding out how Mobile Guardian might help strengthen the parent-teacher partnerships at your school, sign up for a free, 14-day trial here!


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