How to Have Positive Parent Communication
Some of the best advice I got as a new teacher was to make sure that I had a positive contact with each student's parent during the first few weeks of the school year. Every year that I have taught I have tried to follow this advice and it has made a huge difference in my classroom community! I tried to take my positive parent communication a step further by have a positive contact with each students parent, each month. Did I make this goal ever month? Of course not! However, I was able to reach out to most parents at least every other month. I cannot stress enough what a huge positive change I saw in my classroom community I increased my positive contacts with parents. I noticed a change in my teaching because I was actively looking for positive aspects of each student that I could write home about. I began to see more positive behavior and positive character traits in my classroom because I was looking for them! I saw a change in my students each time I sent a note home. They were excited to share their successes with their parents. They were excited that I had noticed a positive act they didn't think anyone saw. This change was the most dramatic in my students who struggled academically or socially. In their minds, school was a place where they could not succeed. Each time I shared a success they had at school that day with their parents, it helped the students begin to shift their view on school. Tips for Implementing Positive Parent Communication in Your Classroom: 1. Keep it simple!-You have enough to do as it is. A simple note, email or short phone call is fine. If you have pick-up or drop-off duty you can also use this time share a positive experience in-person. 2. Keep track!- I printed off a class list and used it to keep track to the dates I had a positive communication with each parent. Writing down my communications made it easy to check if I had missed someone. 3. Have a set time for positive parent communication each week.- Schedule out just five or ten minutes each week to write out a few notes or emails. If you get in the habit of using the same block of time each week you will be more consistent with your parent communication. 4. Focus on the whole child.- Remember you should not be only communicating about academic achievements! Development of positive character traits, and positive behavior should also be communicated to parents. What are your ideas for using positive parent communication in the classroom? Chime-in in the comments below.