Tips That Foster School Connectedness

School Liaisons can use and share the following tips for parents, teachers, and administrators that foster school connectedness for military-connected children.

Tips for Parents That Foster Connections to School

  • Model respectful, cooperative positive behavior in everyday interactions.
  • Be part of the solution; don’t share your problems in the “rumor mill."
  • Participate in school events.
  • Show interest and be involved in academic activities.
  • Maintain regular contact with the child’s educators.
  • Monitor homework completion and work together on assignments that invite family participation.
  • Be present when things go wrong.
  • Know a child’s friends and the friends’ parents.
  • Ask school leaders what can be done to support them.
  • Volunteer at school.

Tips for Teachers That Foster Connections to School

  • Help students get to know each other’s and the teacher’s strengths.
  • Involve students in planning, problem solving, identifying issues, and assessing curriculum in the classroom.
  • Promote cooperation over competition.
  • Build a strong relationship with each student.
  • Convey attentiveness to students and excitement about learning through nonverbal gestures.
  • Involve all students, especially new students, in chores and responsibilities in the classroom.
  • Integrate concepts of discipline and respect for classmates through instruction.
  • Give students more say in what they learn.
  • Involve students in developing the criteria by which their work will be assessed, and provide guidelines so they clearly understand what is expected.
  • Use first person plural (we, us, let’s) when presenting classroom activities.

Tips for Administrators That Foster Connections to School

  • Brainstorm with students, faculty, staff, and parents around simple changes that could make school more welcoming.
  • Create policies and practices that are based on student, family, and neighborhood strengths and assets.
  • Turn mistakes into learning opportunities rather than failures that merit punishment.
  • Acknowledge and honor accomplishments and all types of competencies such as helpfulness, good citizenship, most improved performance, volunteerism, participation in decision making, and cessation of negative behavior.
  • Set high standards and challenge students to meet them.
  • Reinforce explicit expectations for positive behaviors and academic success.
  • Encourage highly interactive teaching strategies.
  • Create a welcoming environment for all who come to school.
  • Invite family and community members to take active and regular roles in the daily operation of schools.
  • Create a common vision of success and keep the vision statement visible.