Home and School communication is so important. Getting parents on your side and working together as a team can enhance all aspects of a child's education. One thing to remember is parents know their children better than the teacher in that they have been their child's teacher from the day their child was were born. I always relay to parents that they are the most important person in their child's life. So, with that being said, use parent's input and work together. The following are some tips from my experiences to work side by side with parents. Your positive relationship will definitely promote student progress.
Tried and True Ideas:
1. Start the year off with a positive phone call to each child's family/house. An e-mail is okay,but a phone call is better in that it shows that you are taking the time out of your busy schedule to chat a bit. These phone calls can also give you very important information about a student as well as build a positive relationship with parents. If possible try to give a positive phone call each report period. It also makes it easier when and if you have to call about a problem. It shows you care!
2. Invite parents into your classroom, if it is permitted in your district, to share a favorite book or chat about their job or occupation. Our School always had a Guest Reader on Friday afternoons. I changed the day and time for working parents if necessary.
3. Send a Monthly or Weekly Newsletter home sharing with parents special news and announcements that are special to your classroom. It is best to send a hard copy just in case a parent does not have access to a personal computer. You can also send these notes and announcements on your class homework sheet.
4. Weekend News: Have children share important classroom news each week. This is not only a great way to connect home and school, but it is also a super writing activity. Parents can then write back to their students if this is completed in a weekly journal. ( See the Responsive Classroom website connection on the sidebar).
5. During Parent/Teacher Conferences, start off conferences with a positive remark about the student. I always started off with a self-evaluation sheet that student's filled out about themselves. It was a super ice breaker and always brought a smile or some laughter to the conference.
6. Say thank you to parents. I always wrote at the bottom of my home communication sheets; such as, homework and Newsletters, "Thank you for all your support at home. It shows in your child's progress!"
Another easy peasy idea from my shop is Back to School Parent Communication Checklists and Notes
I hope these ideas bring a bit of sunshine to your day! Enjoy! Please leave some of your ideas for Parent Communication in the comment section!!