In Communicating With Your Child’s Teacher from http://petalsofjoy.org/, Petals of Joy shares,
"Communicating effectively with your child’s teacher is paramount to have a successful school experience for your little ones."
I absolutely agree with this statement! If you have been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that I feel strongly about this.
It is easy during this time of year to get a little slack with this. It is cold outside and usually gloomy so the students are getting cabin fever and I am feeling out of sorts. I really don’t feel in the mood to contact parents. But I have found out over the years, that this is the perfect time to call parents and brag about their child. This is a great pick-me-up for me and for the parents as well as the students.
The easiest way that I do this is to make a spreadsheet of all of my students and their contact info. I divide the number by the amount of days that I want to do this (5 or 6 depending on my schedule) and I call that amount of students. I don’t have to talk long and since I call so often, my calls usually only last about 5 minutes. So, if I call 10 students a night, it only takes about an hour.
I found the best thing to do is to call on a regular basis. At the beginning of the year I call every 2 weeks. By January, I try to call a minimum of once a month. This keeps the lines of communication open and shows the students and parents that I really care about them. I really care that my students are successful in my classroom.
If I have students who do not have a phone or won’t give me a phone number to contact parents, I always tell them that I will make a home visit. Usually within the week, I will get some kind of contact number. This might mean that I call a relative and leave a message for the parents to call me but I always leave a message that I want to brag about the student. This encourages the parents to call back.
Many teachers tell me that they do not want to give a personal phone number so there are other alternatives. I have gotten a free Google voice number that can be forwarded to your personal phone number. Of course, I don’t mind giving my phone number out with the understanding that they call between the hours of 8am – 8pm. I have only had 2 parents abuse that over 30 years. I feel that since I have their personal contact info, why shouldn’t they have mine? I believe that this has really avoided some nasty conferences in front of administrators. I have been able to answer questions by parents and immediately clear up some discrepancies given by their child. Parents can be very supportive when they feel you are being transparent with them.
How do you handle parent communication? Please share.