The 2020-2021 school year is already fraught with anxiety and frustration without internal friction between parent teacher groups and school administration. You can help prevent friction and strengthen your parent teacher group’s bond with school administration by staying focused on providing the best school experience for your students. To help your group and school find success this year make sure your group is following all state, district, and local guidelines. It’s important to remember the school administration has to follow strict guidelines from the state when it comes to parent teacher groups. Expertly following your guidelines will help the school administration by taking one concern off their plate this year.
Here are nine steps your parent teacher group can take to create strong parent teacher, school administration bonds.
1. Establish Your Relationship and Rapport Early
Your parent teacher group officers should make a point of visiting with the school administration early and regularly at the start of the year. Taking the time to make a personal connection with the school administrators will do much to improve your rapport for the rest of the school year and beyond.
2. Ask Questions
While you have the ear of the school administration, make sure to ask plenty of questions. Nobody knows more about what’s going on in the school than the administrators. They can give you insight on the past, present, and future of the school that can be critical to your group’s agenda for the school year.
3. Find Out What They Need
What do the administrators think the school needs most? What are the issues that continue to be a challenge to the school? Often parent teacher group’s get information about the school through the narrow viewpoints of their first hand experiences and those of their children. The school administration has a holistic view of the school and its needs.
4. Create Clear Expectations of Communication
Effective communication is a two-way street. Beyond listening to what the administration needs most for the school, make them aware of what your parent teacher group is doing. Develop a plan for sharing things like upcoming business for the next meeting, fundraiser ideas, etc. The administration can provide you insight that will be useful during your next parent teacher group meeting. It’s especially valuable for discovering potential hiccups in your proposals beforehand.
5. Share Your Expertise
Your parent teacher group is comprised by many people with diverse backgrounds, knowledge, and experience. This wealth of knowledge and experience can be a resource for your school’s administration. Find out how you can provide value to the school administration beyond fundraising.
6. Invite Administrators to Your Meeting
Keep an open invitation to your meetings for the school administration. Offer an opportunity for school administrators to address the group, especially if you can get the administration to engage with some Q&A. This can help break down the wall of communication between the administration and your group’s constituency.
7. Show Your Appreciation
The school administration has a difficult and often thankless job. Show your appreciation by providing the administration and staff with a small gift or a catered meal to remind them your group appreciates everything they do for you or your group, the school, and the students.
8. Tap Your Resources for Solutions
When your group reach’s an impasse, reach out to all your resources for a solution. It also means, asking your school administrator for potential solutions to your challenges. This can be especially helpful if you’re a new officer. While you may only have weeks or months of parent teacher group experience, the school administration likely has many years of experience they can share.
9. Keep Communication Goal-oriented and Positive
It can be easy for friction to turn communication sour or even personal. Make a concentrated effort to keep your communication with the school administration positive and focused on providing the best experience for students. If you keep that in mind and in your communication, it will help you build a strong bond with your school’s administration.
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