Now, more than ever, the home/school connection is so important to the success of the child in school. We realize that many adults did not have a great elementary experience. So we have listed our top 5 ways to communicate with parents in hopes that the home/school connection can be strengthened.
Introductory Letter before School
Sending home a letter before the school year starts is a key way to establish communication with families. We always send these letters home at least a week before school starts. In the letter we include: our teaching experience, our goals for their child, and ways that they can communicate with us. We also include a student profile sheet that has questions for families to answer about their child. This helps us to get to know their children better too. You can download the student profile sheet for free by clicking here or on the image below.
Keeping parents up-to-date on what is happening in the classroom is also a key part of communication. We like to send emails home on a weekly basis to our families. These emails are basically updates on what is going on in the classroom. But it provides families with a pulse of what is happening every week. We all know that students don’t share everything with their parents, so it’s a great way to reach out and do just that.
Phone Calls Home
If you want your students’ parents to know what is going on in the classroom, phone calls are a great tool to do this. From our younger years, phone calls from a teacher always meant a bad thing. This doesn’t have to be the case. As a matter of fact, we like to make positive phone calls to parents. You can imagine their surprise when they hear their child’s teacher praise them for a great job on a project or for being kind and respectful to others. It makes the parents feel great, which in turn they share with their child. It is a great way to show parents that you are seeing the good things their children are doing.At times, a phone call may have to be made regarding behavior as well. It is important to stick to the facts and let the parents know about the behavior and what is expected. In these type of situations, make sure to end the phone call on a positive note. You can thank them for their support and understanding.
This is by far our favorite time of the year. We wish we could do conferences more often instead of report cards. Conferences are a chance to meet face to face with parents. It is a time to share not only how their child is doing academically, but socially and emotionally as well. Goals are established, work samples are shared, and there are genuine conversations focused on how to help their children succeed in school.
Who doesn’t love mail, especially when it is a positive note from a teacher! We make it a goal to send at least one postcard home to every child throughout the school year. We include a positive message about something great they did in school. Maybe it was helping to pick up a classmate’s supplies, or holding a door open for someone, or doing great on a test. Whatever the case may be, students, and parents love these postcards. Try it out with your students this year!
There are more ways to communicate with parents and we would love to hear how you connect with your children’s families too. Please share.