This post originally appeared on the blog Sunshine and Lollipops.
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 born. I always relay to parents that they are the most important person in their child’s life. So, with that being said, use parents’ 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 OK, 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.
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 students 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!”
You may want to take a look at the Home and School /Teacher Communication Packet I have on my Teachers Pay Teachers Sunshine and Lollipops Shop. This resource is filled with ready-to-use forms and printables to encourage home and school Communication. Some of the resources in this packet are mentioned above!
I hope these ideas bring a bit of sunshine to your day!
Kathy is a retired 1-2 Looping teacher from Springfield, PA. She taught for 30+ years in the same school district that she attended growing up. Her teaching style was and still is to keep all lessons fun, hands-on, and whatever each child needs to learn and grow. She loves to differentiate instruction as much as possible and believes that each year you get a classroom full of students as different as a “box of chocolates… each piece (student) may look pretty much the same on the outside, but when you look a bit closer or get to know each student better, you can see and “taste” the difference… all sugary and sweet, but different in so many ways.” Kathy’s TpT shop is Sunshine and Lollipops. She enjoys creating Language Arts, Math, Classroom Management, ELL and Special Education resources for K-2. When she is not creating resources, you can find her having fun with her grandchildren or volunteering in her daughter’s Kindergarten SpEd classroom! If you would like to get to know her or read more posts she’s written, visit her blog or stop by her Instagram page. You will definitely feel the sunshine and positive vibes!