Parent Communication is extremely important for the student, teacher and parent. However the popular approach is to only call the parents when a child is misbehaving. Parents do need to be notified when their child is not acting appropriately, but it is always better to have a relationship with the parent BEFORE you have an issue with their child. So…start building relationships early!
Parents are very interested in what their child is learning at school, but they may not always know what to ask. Keep parents informed! I believe in getting the year started on the right foot and sending information home during parent night about how they can help their child! (Since I teach Reading and Writing, that is the focus.)
I also recently found this little gem. Parent Newsletters! I believe it will be great to send home for parents when we are covering the different skills.
(For example, when we cover visualization, I would send home the visualization newsletter.)
I strongly believe in keeping parents informed, they can be your biggest support system if you will use them…(and trust me, they want to be used!–remember, you have their baby 8 hours a day!)
It is also important to give parents the resources they need to help their child. For example, I may tell them to ask their child questions while he or she is reading, but do the parents know what questions to ask? Give them everything they may need to be a successful teacher at home! I always give my parents a flip book of question stems. I have provided it below for you! It is 13 pages of goodness!! But for every one you print, it makes 2 flip books because they are half sheets. I run mine on colored paper and make each sheet a different color. It’s great for asking questions at home (for parents) and at school (for you…I use them at the guided reading table.) I highly recommend it! Here is a sample of what one set of the questions stems looks like!
Also, never under estimate the importance of a phone call…or e-mail…telling the parents something wonderful about their child! I try to send (often) post-its, post cards, notes, and make phone calls to let the parents know the great things their child is learning or the great way they are behaving! I know I would love that as a parent!
Bottom line is, keep your parents informed about the education their child is receiving. I always look at it like this–I am not their child’s babysitter, so why would I only contact them when there is a behavior problem? I teach their child every day–and I NEED my parents support. Be kind to them, help them, love their kids, and then…when that inevitable situation arises where there is an issue, they have your back! 🙂
So get that parent communication notebook ready, get those numbers listed, and get ready to meet about 50 new adults that are very interested in you and what you can do for their child!