When you think about classroom management, what comes to mind? You may think of the relationship between the teacher and the student — but what role does the parent play?

The importance of parental involvement is at an all-time high in private schools. This is often due to the financial and personal stake parents have in their child’s education and security. Plus, the power of social media to spread positive and negative messages throughout the community means that many

As a colleague in a “Marketing to Millennial Parents” learning session remarked, “Helicopter parents of the past are now drone parents of the present.”

The question is not how to prevent parental involvement in the classroom, but how to utilize parents to our advantage.

Communicate Effectively

Parents want to be involved at every level, so communication is key. Keeping parents up-to-date on activities, goals, progress, projects, homework, and assessments is vital to building trust.

When parents are able to hang an overview of their child’s next few weeks, they’re thankful. Likewise, when the students know the teacher is well-organized, they generally rise to meet higher expectations in the classroom.

Utilize Social Media

Utilize Instagram to show what’s coming up for the week. Snap a photo of classroom updates and communicate with families via direct messaging. If you want to utilize photos to show class projects or students studying, be sure to get written parental permission when starting the school year. Remember, you don’t have to follow parents who follow you on Instagram and you can turn off commenting on classroom posts as well.

Consistent communication between teachers, students, and parents is crucial. When it’s present, students are highly engaged and teachers often have more positive relationships with parents.

Set Expectations — And Stick to Them

Having concise rules, expectations, and procedures — from the beginning of the year — is one of the most important traits of a successful teacher. Parents are eager to support the teacher at home if they know the procedures and expectations. Partnering with parents provides the best environment for students to be truly successful.

Parents are not the classroom’s enemy. In fact, their unique connection with your students makes them some of your strongest allies.