Partnering with Parents: 12+ Resources for the School Year

2nd post in a new series: PLN Tips 4 Teachers and Goal 15: Partner with Parents of The 30 Goals Challenge for Educators

“People have been known to achieve more as a result of working with others than against them.” ~Dr. Allan Fromme

One of the best survival lessons I learned as a teacher was to engage parents. Trust me. If a parent is talking negatively about you at home, then you will have a difficult time getting the child to listen or behave properly in your class but if the parent likes you then you have ally on your side! However, engaging parents is a challenge. Larry Ferlazzo, author of Building Parent Engagement in Schools, points out that while many schools involve parents they rarely engage parents. According to Larry Ferlazzo, engaged parents are those that enter into partnerships with teachers and school staff to provide the best learning environment for children. Engaged parents make decisions and have a say in what happens in the classroom and with the curriculum. Engaging parents was something I often struggled with for many years. I was afraid of communicating with parents because in my teacher training courses I was never taught how to engage parents. Below are a few tips blogged about by various educators that offer insight and deep reflection on how to engage parents. I hope these posts will encourage you to take the time to get your parents to become partners with you in providing the best learning environment for their children. When parents are involved they aren’t scary at all. As I found out, when I won over parents by showing them how much I care about and do for their children I had less behavior problems and more successful students.

Parent Partnership Tips & Resources

These posts are in no particular order:

Parent Involvement or Engagement? by Larry Ferlazzo

Building a connected, transparent learning community & my #140edu talk by Joe Mazza

A Multi-Faceted Approach to Engaging Parents by Eric Scheninger

Workshop “Education in the Digital Age: A Reorientation for Parents” by David Truss

6 Ways to Use Cell Phones to Strengthen the Home-School Connection by Lisa Nielsen

For Teachers: Different Ways to Communicate With Parents – 25 Suggestions by A Fly on the Classroom Wall

Parents in the Classroom by Josh Stumpenhorst

Parent Teacher Conferences & Communication: Tons of resources from Cybraryman

Parents, Who Needs Them? by Tom Whitby

Teacher At Work, Parents Keep Out ~ A Teacher’s Thoughts

Tips for Engaging Parents this School Year | ESL Library Blog

How to Work with Parents | Edutopia


The 30 Goals Challenge

As part of The 30 Goals Challenge I would like to inspire you to accomplish these goals:

Short-term– Try a new way of communicating and partnering with parents this year. Try to contact every parent at least once whether it be through a blanket e-mail, a newsletter, video blog introducing yourself, wiki, blog, text, or phone call. Try one of the tips from the bloggers above. Blog about what you learned. You can even blog about it here if you do not have your own blog.

Long-term– Make it a habit to have continuous communication with parents. With social media and texting, communicating with parents has become easier and faster! Try using social media and technology to help you build a parent community. Facebook, Google Plus, and other social networks help you to do this in a quick, free way! This goal is similar to last year’s goal: Engage Parents.

Important News

  • Lisa Dabbs and I have decided to change the hashtag to #30GoalsEdu.
  • This year we are focusing on 1 to 2 goals a week in order to have time to really reflect on the tasks and respond to each other’s posts and enhance our support system for each other.
  • Check out my Pinterests for other posts with this goal or ask me to add yours!


Partner with parents by continuously communicating with them and involving them in the decisions that impact their child’s learning.

Did you reflect on this goal? Please leave a comment that you accomplished this goal by either posting your own video reflection on Youtube, using the hashtag #30GoalsEDU, posting on the 30 Goals Facebook group, adding a post to the GooglePlus page, or adding a comment below!

Be inspired with these Inspirational songs, videos, quotes, and more on my Pinterest board, Inspiration for World Changers!

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Shelly Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell (@ShellTerrell) is an award winning digital innovator, an international speaker/consultant, and the author of Hacking Digital Learning with EdTech Missions, The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers, and Learning to Go. She has trained teachers and taught English language learners in over 20 countries as an invited guest expert by organizations, like the US Embassy, UNESCO Bangkok, Cultura Inglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, ISTEK Turkey, and Venezuela TESOL. She has been recognized by several organizations and publications as a leader in the movement of teacher driven professional development as the founder and organizer of various online conferences, Twitter chats, and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Two of the projects she co-organized were shortlisted for ELTons, #ELTChat and the Virtual Round Table Language and Technology online conference. She was named Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women, awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, and named as one of the 10 Most Influential People in EdTech by Tech & Learning. Her greatest joy is being the mother of baby Savannah and Rosco the pug. Shelly has an Honors BA in English with a Minor in Communication and a specialization in Electronic Media from UTSA, a Masters in Curriculum Instruction ESL from the University of Phoenix, and a CELTA from CELT Athens. She regularly shares her tips for effective technology integration via Twitter (@ShellTerrell),, and on her blog,, which has won several awards and recognitions as one of the top ESL, Edtech and Elearning blogs. Find over 400 of her slide presentations at


  1. Last week Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented held our first annual back-to-school chat and our panel of teachers discussed, “Collaboration, Not Confrontation … Parents and Teachers Working Together”. Our transcripts can be found at .

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