Dr. Brian Cunningham, Principal, West Junior High School in Oakland, TN

Dr. Brian Cunningham, born in Memphis and raised in Oakland, Tennessee, is the Principal at West Junior High School in Oakland, TN. He has a Master of Education degree from Cambridge College and both his Educational Specialist degree and Doctorate of Education in Administration and Supervision from Freed-Hardeman University. Dr. Cunningham has extensive experience as a teacher and administrator in the Fayette County Public Schools and Memphis-Shelby County Schools districts. He has published a journal article, co-authored a book (Next In Line to Lead: The Voice of the Assistant Principal), and earned a certificate from the National Institute for School Leadership.


The relationship between teachers and parents plays a crucial role in a student’s academic success and overall well-being. This partnership is essential in ensuring that students receive the support they need both inside and outside the classroom. When teachers and parents work together, they create a support system that helps students thrive academically and emotionally.

One of the main benefits of a strong teacher-parent relationship is improved communication. When teachers and parents communicate regularly, they can discuss a student’s progress, strengths, and areas for improvement. This open line of communication allows both parties to address any concerns or challenges that the student may be facing. By working together, teachers and parents can develop strategies to help students overcome obstacles and reach their full potential.

Furthermore, a positive teacher-parent relationship can lead to increased parental involvement in a student’s education. When parents are actively involved in their child’s learning, students are more likely to feel supported and motivated to succeed. Parents can reinforce the importance of education at home and provide additional resources and support to help their children excel in school.

Additionally, a strong teacher-parent relationship can also improve student behavior and attitudes towards learning. When teachers and parents are on the same page and working towards the same goals, students are more likely to take their education seriously and behave responsibly in the classroom. This collaborative effort reinforces the value of education and creates a positive learning environment for students.

Essentially, the relationship between teachers and parents is essential in promoting student success. By working together, teachers and parents can create a support system that ensures students receive the academic and emotional support they need to excel. This partnership fosters open communication, increased parental involvement, and improved student behavior and attitudes toward learning. Ultimately, a strong teacher-parent relationship leads to improved student outcomes and sets students up for success both in school and beyond.

Overall, relationships between teachers and parents play a crucial role in the academic success and overall well-being of students. When teachers and parents work together effectively, students are more likely to achieve higher grades, have better attendance, exhibit positive behavior, and develop a strong sense of self-esteem. Here are a few detailed examples of how teacher-parent relationships can significantly improve student outcomes:

  1. Enhanced Communication: When teachers and parents communicate regularly and openly, they can share important information about a student’s progress, challenges, and strengths. This kind of collaboration allows both parties to work together to identify areas of improvement and develop strategies to support the student’s growth.
  2. Support for Learning at Home: Teachers can provide parents with resources, tools, and strategies to support their child’s learning at home. By involving parents in the learning process, students are more likely to complete homework assignments, engage in educational activities outside of school, and develop a love for learning that extends beyond the classroom.
  3. Consistent Expectations: When teachers and parents have a shared understanding of academic expectations and behavioral standards, students are more likely to receive consistent messages about their performance and conduct. This consistency creates a sense of stability for students and helps them understand what is expected of them in both the home and school environments.
  4. Early Intervention: By maintaining a strong relationship with parents, teachers can quickly identify any academic, social, or emotional issues that may be impacting a student’s performance. With early intervention and collaboration between teachers and parents, students can receive the necessary support and resources to address these challenges before they escalate.
  5. Personalized support: By working closely with parents, teachers can better understand the individual needs and learning styles of each student. This enables them to provide personalized support and strategies to help the student succeed.
  6. Positive school culture: When teachers and parents work together collaboratively, it creates a positive school culture where everyone is focused on the student’s success. This sense of community and support motivates students to perform to the best of their abilities.

From my perspective as a school principal, engaging with the community to support parents is a crucial aspect of ensuring the success and well-being of the students. Building strong partnerships with parents can lead to a more positive and supportive school environment, ultimately benefiting the academic and personal development of the children.

One of the strategies I employed to engage with the community was working with the school counselors and parent-teacher organizations at the schools I have served to organize regular parent-teacher meetings and workshops. These meetings provided a platform for parents to voice their concerns, ask questions, and provide feedback on their child’s progress. It also allowed us to share important information about school policies, upcoming events, and academic expectations. By fostering open communication and collaboration, parents felt more involved and invested in their child’s education.

In addition to formal meetings, I also made an effort to attend school-related and community events, such as sporting events, fairs, festivals, and neighborhood gatherings. This allowed me to connect with parents outside of the school setting and build relationships based on mutual trust and respect. By being visible and accessible in the community, I was able to strengthen the bond between the school, parents, and the wider community. Another important aspect of engaging with the community was providing resources and support for parents. This included offering parenting workshops, providing access to educational materials, and connecting families with local support services. By empowering parents with the tools and information they needed, we were able to create a more supportive and nurturing environment for the children.

Overall, by actively engaging with the community to support parents, I was able to create a strong partnership that benefited the students, parents, and the school as a whole. Building a supportive and collaborative community is essential for the success of the students, and as a school principal, it was my priority to foster these relationships and create a positive and inclusive school environment.

In essence, the relationship between teachers and parents is essential for creating a supportive and nurturing environment for students to thrive. By working together, teachers and parents can create a strong support system that ensures students reach their full potential and achieve academic success.

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