A few years ago, from this same space, we proposed a total of 12 steps to make the necessary relationship between families and schools more fluid. A link whose main objective is the well-being and educational improvement of the students, but which does not lack discomforts, disagreements, and frictions between the two parties involved … despite the fact that, for some time now, the impression that the pedagogical front has been questioned as an authority before the educational demands of at least a part of the families. Faced with this situation, and without the intention of sitting on the subject, we propose a series of initiatives to restore this seemingly deteriorated confidence and that will revive, from a digital point of view, the communication channels between the school and the families that entrust their sons and daughters to it.
A necessary tandem
Reflecting the society in which it is framed, the idea of family has changed throughout history, just as the school has done as an educational institution. Thus, the varied conception of the family that we know today was defined until not so much as an established link between man, woman and the offspring of both. An idea that was changing in many aspects but not in one of its main roles, that of the family as the first agent of socialization of the lives of the children that are welcomed in its midst and that lasts to a greater or lesser extent until the school age of the little ones. An age group that, in addition, and with the passing of the years and the growing shortage of time and possibilities of many families to devote themselves entirely to the education of their offspring, has been reduced, thus leaving a very important part of their training in the hands of school institutions.
But what about the schools? Already in the early twentieth century, many of the social and cultural teachings that were given in it, in curricular and transverse, took distances with what students learned at home. A hiatus between the formative expectations of each other that created a situation, still prevailing in many contexts, of communication between these two parties involved in the education of the youngest. What, in turn, and the hand of a long time of schooling of students (which in many cases is the result of a shorter time of family tutelage) meant that the communication between school and family was revalued in the face of a better and more unitary educational development of the minors that both are in charge of. Which, thanks to the rise of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), is now much easier and more comfortable than in previous times.
How to improve communication between families and school
The transparency and trust that comes from the feedback provided by the feedback are some of the elements that make communication more than a mere informational exchange. But, beyond the WhatsApp groups that are created by and for families of a particular class group, what can be done from the schools to improve their interaction with the families of their students? Here are some possible tips to get it:
- Probably your educational center has a website, link to it a Newsletter from which you can periodically distribute the news that affects the center and its students among the families of your students. In this way, they will be informed of everything that happens in the school, feeling involved and integrated in a way that is comfortable for both parties.
- Although its introduction in schools is still tinged with controversy, you can create Social Networks (RRSS) more or less usual use such as Facebook or Twitter, although we recommend that the use you give to the first is at the discretion and under the strict control of access and privacy. You can also use other networks such as Instagram, although in this case we strongly recommend that families authorize you in writing to disseminate the images of your students in order to avoid possible, and potentially violent, misunderstandings. But, in any case, these RRSS generate a sense of belonging that can be greatly enhanced if it becomes a meeting point between families and schools, although that requires someone to take charge of their management and answer the questions or comments from family members, if necessary.
- Again with the website of your school as a communication epicenter, we propose the creation of forums or even voting programs in which both teachers and families can participate. Under strict control, based on a series of principles and participation rights communicated to families, both strategies can be used to know the opinions of family members on certain topics, more generally than during tutorials.
A set of strategies for school and families you coordinate to offer young people in your care an education that includes, unitarily, all aspects of their development both inside and outside the classroom.
Does your center use ICT to communicate with the families of your students? What strategies do you use? Share your experiences with all of us as well as this post with your contacts.