Parent Communication

Our chat last week was based around parent communication.  We had a great turnout, and we appreciate everyone’s input.  Below are a few posts made by our fellow #TXed friends.

Terri Eichholz, @terrieichholz, shared an article she wrote for Edutopia last year that gives you some tips and tricks for communicating with parents.  There is some great insight.  You can read the article here:  https://t.co/oE1dV2IhOa 

Many tools were shared to increase communication including Remind, Facebook, Twittter, and Seesaw.  Weekly newsletters was also mentioned along with communication through your SIS and your LMS.  Brandy Sue Alexander, @ReaderLeaderBSA, had a great idea to create a form that can be sent home at the beginning of the year so you can learn what social media avenues the parents are using.  Then you could make sure you are speaking where they are listening.

Veronica Bordano, @vbordano, mentioned that there were many ideas in the book Black Ants and Buddhists to help include parents in activities.  It gives suggestions on where they can help and how to invite them in.

Morgan Thompson, @morgan5406, talked about “First Fridays” at their schools.  Parents are encouraged to visit the school on the first Friday of each month to see what has been happening in the classrooms.  It is a great way to pull parents in and get them excited about their child’s learning.  Ann Pruitt, @Pruitt5, and a few others, mentioned the Watch Dog Dads program that reaches out to fathers within the community to get more male figures involved.  It was also mentioned by many that we can’t just wait for them to come to us.  We need to get out in our communities and become involved in what is happening there as well.

In chatting about how to have the tough conversations with parents when something isn’t going well, many people commented on the importance of communication, both good and bad, being consistent throughout the year.  Mrs. Perryman, @perrymanclass, made reference to how they visit each student’s house at the beginning of the year so they can meet parents, and following that up with a call in the first week to praise students helps set a foundation and makes the difficult conversations a little easier.

In talking about how to let parents see the great learning that is going on at school, Soney Day, @DaysMrs, shared a great idea she has incorporated into her classroom.  They have a “recording booth” set up in her early elementary classroom where students can go in and record videos they upload to Seesaw so their parents can experience the excitement their children have in their learning.  The booth is not sound-proof or anything, just a great little space set aside in her room for students to go to record.  It also reminds the other students that they need to be quiet to help out whoever is recording.  I love this idea!

In order to create this bond between parents and teachers, we need to make a plan and carry it out.  Many people shared that they are scheduling time each week to make some positive phone calls or write a nice note to their students and parents.  It was also mentioned that your response time must be quick if a parent contacts you.  Even if you reply by email that you received their message and are working to find the answer can be a saving grace for that parent.  Keep the lines of communication open.  Dale Chu, @Dale_Chu, made the comment that we need to make sure we are making more deposits than withdrawals in the parent relationships.

These are just a few of the amazing ideas that were shared by our #TXed chat friends.  To see a transcript of the entire chat, go to this link at Participate.com and log in with your twitter account.  It’s a great way to catch up on what the entire chat was about.

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