Tuesday, July 24, 2012



Seven years ago this week I became a mom for the first time.
And it gave me a whole new perspective in the classroom. I think any teacher who has had children will agree. 
Build time into your daily routines to communicate with parents. If you establish a positive relationship with a child’s family by keeping them up to date on his progress and sharing examples of things that have gone well in the classroom, they will be much more receptive to a note addressing a potential issue that has arisen. Parents do not want to only hear from their child’s teacher when something is wrong.
While you can certainly write spontaneous notes home when something awesome happens, positive communication can be organized and systematic.  You just need to develop a system that works well for you.
First, decide which methods of communication are going to be best for you. If you use a daily communication folder then writing a note in there may be best. Emails are also a nice option because you’ll automatically have a copy in your sent mail. 
Plan to write 2-3 notes home per day for positive reasons. It need not be elaborate. Examples:
  • “I can tell Jane has been practicing her math facts at home. Thanks for your continued support.” 
  • “Stephen went out of his way to include a child who was sitting alone today. We’re so proud of him.” 

These are short, sweet, and to the point, but will mean the world to the people on the receiving end. It will communicate that you appreciate their child and recognize the positive choices made. 
If you don’t feel that you have time during the day, an alternative is to write your notes on adhesive mailing labels after school and then stick them into the communication folder in the morning. This method also works well because you can write notes onto the labels throughout the day as they happen or when you reflect on the day in the evening so you don’t need to jog your memory as you check the morning folders.
There are plenty of families who will reach out to you with questions or concerns, but others won’t. Take the time to call home at least once a month to “check in.” Be prepared to share a recent success and then ask if they have any questions or information that would be helpful for you to know. 
I suggest you establish a simple method for tracking your communication so that you are able to provide consistent feedback in an equitable manner. 

I have created a resource that includes 20 templates for documenting communication between school and home. This product was designed as part of my versatile, ink-saving Blackline Design Collection.  It can certainly be used on it's own, but is a great companion to these products:

For more tips and ideas on organizing and managing your classroom please check out my Clutter-Free Guide. This post is part of:
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