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Training Program Seeks to Foster Parent-Teacher Relations

Even though parents don’t interact with teachers on a daily basis like their students, an MU study shows that the relationship could be vital. 

The study shows that relationships between parents and teachers have an impact on students’ success in the classroom.

“Our rationale really was: teacher perceptions of those relationships matter,” Herman said. “Regardless of how accurate they are they seem to influence some aspect of student development.”

MU Education professor Keith Herman recently implemented a teacher-training program in North County, a suburb of St. Louis. A similar program was implemented by his colleague, Aaron Thompson, at a school in Washington State. 

The program is a full-day workshop that educators attend to learn about the importance of their relationships with parents.  Herman said the teachers learn how to avoid subtle judgments that can cause them to adversely affect students’ education.

“We know that there are things that schools can do to make it more or less likely that parents will feel welcome and be open to participate in school activities," Herman said. "Our rationale really was: teacher perceptions matter. Regardless of how accurate they are, they seem to influence some aspect of student development."