Positive and consistent communication between parents and teachers is essential for student success. It also helps to build a positive relationship between the parent and the teacher, which leads to better cooperation and understanding in the future.
What if you could have everything you need to foster positive communication with your students and parents, all neatly organized in one little binder? You can.
Think back to the last time you reached out to a student’s guardian. What was the reason for it? Most likely, it was one of three things:
1. A behavior issue
2. An important upcoming event
3. The child forgot their lunch
Okay, that might be exaggerating, but most often our outreach to parents is driven by an urgent need. When was the last time you contacted a parent purely for something positive their child did? Let me help you make that a regular occurrence in your classroom, and watch the dynamic shift between yourself, your students, and their parents!
Parent Communication for Teachers
Here’s how it works:
Start by inputting Contact Info for your students’ guardians. You’ll have it all in one place so it’s easy to find. The Family Contact Log helps you keep track of when and why you met with a parent and has options for in person, through email, or over the phone. This form is a running record of conferences and provides a visual as to who you’ve met with, how many times, and who may be missing from the list.
The Conference Forms for parent meetings are a great way to take the pressure off! These forms use a “Glows, Grows, and Goals” method to evaluate the whole student. You will start your conference with all things the student is doing well, then move to areas the student could improve in. Finally, use what you’ve discussed to set goals for the student to work on. Take input from parents on this form as well, this will give you insight into their life and habits at home. Be sure to have one copy for yourself and one for the parent, keep your copy in the Communication Binder for reference and records!
Student Teacher Conferences
The importance of mindful communication doesn’t stop with parents, it also has to include your students. The Student Conference Forms follow the same Glows, Grows, and Goals procedure. Best practice is to meet with your students before parent conferences, and have the student do the bulk of the talking. What do they perceive as their strengths (Glows), weaknesses (Grows), and what goals do they have for themselves? Bring this information with you to your parent conferences for a great discussion.
Send home Conference Reminders a day or two before your scheduled meeting. This will help (hopefully) ensure that parents are prompt and respectful of your time!
Sometimes things happen during the day that aren’t positive. Choice Checks are quick tool to inform parents that something occurred, but it’s been resolved. It’s basically saying to parents: “Hey, this happened, we fixed it, but I still want you to know about it.” It will likely lead to a conversation between student and parent that further discourages the behavior from happening again. There is an option to have the Choice Check signed by parent if you choose. If you want to revamp your behavior management, read this post and check out this amazing resource!
Positive Student Communication
Much like being aware of positive communication with parents, your communication with students is just as important! Positive communication is the key to healthy and happy student-teacher relationships. This comes in 3 forms: Positive Emails home, Positive Notes, and Positive Praise. To make it really easy, I provide you with cheat sheets for all 3!
The Student Positive Outreach Tracker ensures that you’re connecting positively with each of your students. It keeps track of the above 3 actions so you can make sure you’re spreading the wealth and recognizing every student equally. Set a goal for yourself to add 2 tally marks for each column by the end of the quarter, or anything that works for you!
I also know how difficult it can be to come up with concise report card comments sometimes. Within the resource you’ll also get a list of comment ideas to address attitude and behavior, academics and social skills! You can also use these comments during your conferences, too!
Having a system in place to streamline communication with parents and students is essential and can be time consuming. Let me take this off your plate for you!
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Are you still in back to school mode? Just getting started? Check out this blog post for my back to school must-haves!