Daily life at school offers a myriad of opportunities to build relationships with parents and caregivers that are founded on a partnership model. Along with administrators and other school staff, teachers can contribute to the creation of a school climate where parents and caregivers feel welcomed, valued, understood and respected. (See Mobilizing Parents and Caregivers.)
This can only occur when parents and caregivers from marginalized groups are fully included. (See Understanding Parents and Caregivers, Sharing Power, Alliance-Building. ) Ideally, parents and caregivers will in turn become ambassadors of a school culture that conveys values and attitudes based on kindness, compassion and respect for differences. (See Agents of Cultural Change.)
In our busy professional lives, we are often responding to parents and caregivers who initiate contact in order to raise their concerns. At such times, we can make good use of reactive strategies based on principles of healthy communication. (See Healthy Communication.)
There is much we can do pre-emptively to establish a positive basis for those relationships and interactions. Proactive strategies can promote equity and inclusion as well as attitudes and values that foster resistance to bullying. The benefits of such strategies trickle down to individual interactions while colouring and shaping the whole school climate.
The strategies presented in this section are not meant to be exhaustive. They offer a handful of examples that need not limit the imagination and vision of teachers and other school staff who are creating and implementing countless positive, proactive strategies for working with parents and caregivers on preventing bullying and inequity every day.