As a teacher you have plenty on your plate. I get it. That’s why it can be tempting (or even unintentional) to let general classroom communication with parents slide off the priority list. That is a mistake and I will tell you why. You want parents to feel fully vested in what is happening in your classroom. They need to know what is going on in order to be supportive.
As the teacher, you are the one responsible to keep the lines of communication open all year long.
AT THE START OF THE SCHOOL YEAR
Start your year off right… with information overload? It might seem that way but there are several things that parents should be informed about right from the start.
- Behavior Management (rules & consequences)
- Supply Lists
- Classwork / Homework Policies
You can just hand them a traditional syllabus that you’ve typed up. That will work. Or you can get a bit more creative and place that information in a flip book. A handy idea is to glue magnets on the back of the flip book and tell parents to stick them on the side of the fridge. Then the information is always right at their fingertips.
THROUGHOUT THE SCHOOL YEAR
You should keep families informed about classroom business throughout the year. Use a combination of several methods.
- Create a class web page. There are free sites, like Weebly, that are fairly user friendly to use as your classroom web page.
- If your school doesn’t provide you with parent e-mail addresses, request them yourself. Most parents are busy people. Many will appreciate the ability to communicate easily via e-mail.
- Send monthly class newsletters. Select a newsletter template that allows you to quickly enter updates into it.
- At parent/teacher conference time, be prepared with general class information as well. Do you have a field trip scheduled? Have your permission slips and all accompanying information prepared as far in advance as possible.
Remember, communication is key. :)
~ Happy Teaching!