Every year at back to school night I would have an apple on each student’s desk. On the apple would be a note that would talk about how excited I was to partner with the families in their child’s success. I explained to parents that I gave them an apple as a gift because we often associate apples with teachers and parents are teachers too! The partnership between teachers and families is so important for the success of our students. As teachers, we have the honor of being entrusted with somebody’s child for 180 days a year. There are many ways we can build positive relationships with our students’ families, but here are four ways that you can build positive relationships and communication with parents from the first day:
Make the first call positive
Within the first week or two of school try to make a positive phone call to each of your student’s parents or guardians. Share something great the student did that day, or how much you are enjoying having their child in their class. So often we save phone calls for concerns or inappropriate behaviors, but making a positive contact at the beginning of the year will let your student and his family know that you’re here for them!
Be a cheerleader
While that first positive contact is important at the beginning of the year, it is also important to maintain positive communication throughout the year. Be your students’ biggest cheerleader and aim for positive contact with each family at least once a month. You can send families an email, pictures of their child learning, a quick note, or make a phone call. It’s often the small things we do that can feel big to others.
Keep parents informed
A huge part of partnering with parents is making ongoing communication a priority. Plus, apps like Remind make it easy to keep in touch with families about happenings in the classroom as well as specific things going on with their child. I do, however, encourage having “office hours.” When technology is always in our pocket or hand, it can become easy to be too accessible. It’s ok to put boundaries on when you respond to messages.
Keep a log
As a teacher, we have so many responsibilities that we are juggling. Keeping a communication log can help you stay organized. A log helps you know how consistent you’ve been in communication, the types of communication you have made (remember to strive for positive contact too!), and also gives you great data for meetings, or if a parent ever questions something.
Do you have any tried and true parent communication tips? Leave us a comment or question on our Facebook or Twitter post!
— Pearson PreK-12 (@PearsonPreK12) October 22, 2018
Becca Foxwell is an energetic first grade teacher whose heart comes alive in the classroom! She is a TPT Teacher-Author, speaker and presenter, and 2016 Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year. Mrs. Foxwell is passionate about instilling a love of learning within the hearts of her students and believes that learning should be fun and engaging as we prepare our students for 21st century success! You can learn more about Mrs. Foxwell on Twitter @FoxwellForest or at: http://www.foxwellforest.com/