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Using the Principles of Intentional Teaching to Communicate Effectively with Parents

by Jody Martin
January/February 2009
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/using-the-principles-of-intentional-teaching-to-communicate-effectively-with-parents/5018553/

Acting ‘intentionally’ means acting purposefully with a carefully considered goal in mind. We know that the intentional teacher:

• creates clearly-defined learning objectives when planning a lesson for her children
• assesses their progress and modifies activities as needed (Epstein, 2007)
• develops clear communication objectives regarding her program, child development in general, and the child’s progress
• provides this information in such a way that parents can understand and access it easily
• assesses periodically whether the communication system or materials are effectively being used by the parents and modify, if needed.

When families and teachers work as a team and communicate freely, it can provide benefits for everyone in the program. A teacher will feel more effective and confident if the relationship with families involves two-way communication and is one of mutual respect and support. Families benefit because they can feel secure and confident when they leave their children with the teacher. This two-way communication creates a solid partnership that provides essential information to both parents and teachers.

Another important factor in two-way communication is addressing parent concerns. Ann Epstein (2007) advises:

“Parental concerns should never be dismissed, nor should they be seen as the ‘enemy’ of appropriate practice. Rather, they should be respected, and teachers ...

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