Book Review: From Parents to Partners


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Are you struggling to find ways to effectively communicate and connect with families? Have you had a conflict with a parent that you were unsure how to resolve? While many educators and caregivers work to build healthy relationships with parents, it can be tricky to figure out how to successfully accomplish this in a busy early learning setting.

Janis Keyser’s book, From Parents to Partners is an excellent resource that provides quick and helpful tools to help you successfully connect with parents and families.

Why Partnership?

In the book, Keyser explains that “partnerships are a unique kind of relationship. They are different from some of the relationships that currently exist between teachers and parents. A partnership is a relationship between equals; each person is equally valued for his or her knowledge and contribution to the relationship…In partnership, people are interested in understanding each other’s perspective, engaging in two-way communication, consulting with each other on important decisions, and respecting and working through differences of opinion.”

While the description above might sound like a lot of work, imagine just how different your classroom or center would be if you had a relationship like that with each and every parent. A partnership is not only beneficial to the teachers and the parents, but especially to the children. Having their parents and primary caregivers on the same page creates consistency, predictability, and security for children when they are at home and at school.

About the Book

This text explores the importance of partnership with parents;  five principles of family-centered care; tips for effective communication; and conflict resolution, including disagreements between parents and the center.

From classroom events, to documentation and conferences, there are so many ways to build a relationship. From Parents to Partners identifies opportunities to connect that are easy to integrate into your own classroom or center.  

The book is organized in a textbook format, so that helpful information can be located quickly.

About the Author

Janis Keyser is a Bay Area local and a teacher, parent educator, program director, and public speaker, specializing in early childhood and family development. She has been conducting workshops for parents and teachers for more than thirty-five years.

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