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Studies and research shows that having effective parent teacher communication as well as having parents involved in the classroom community leads to a more successful school year for the students, parents, and teachers. When parents feel invited to participate in the classroom or are made aware of the happenings, they are more likely to help the teacher and their child, as well as their perceptions are shifted from negative to positive.
I’ve compiled a list of quick and easy things that you can start implementing into your classroom to help improve parent communication. They’re super easy to do and your parents will love it.
I love having an open house before the school year officially begins. It allows for a non-stress environment where parents can come in and get to know the teacher. As the teacher, you don't have to worry about answering the question, “how is my child doing?” You can start the year on the right foot by introducing yourself and setting the guidelines for communication. If your school doesn’t offer this, mail a personalized note home with an “About the Teacher” and some classroom expectations. Parents will definitely appreciate that you went the extra mile.
I have seen this done in many different ways. Some schools have personalized websites for teachers. Others use an online communication system such as Class Dojo. I’ve even seen teachers create Facebook groups for their class. Parents love to see what their child is doing during the day! Let’s face it: you have to meet the parents where they’re at! In my opinion, parents are more likely to check their phone for a notification as opposed to remembering to look in their child’s folder.
This goes along with the online connection, but posting photos of the class regularly will add a special touch to your class. Parents will feel apart of the classroom community when they are able to see what’s going on from time to time.
Classroom Sign-ups or Helpers
Have sign ups for parents to come in and help out during a holiday or special event. I know that during these special days, I’ll take all the extra hands I can get. Some parents aren’t always able to come in for all the things. If you can give them some advance notice, they might be able to take off work to come in. Not only will it make them happy, but your students will light up when they see mom or dad come in!
Caught Being Good Notes
I know a note from the teacher used to be seen as a negative thing. But I’d love for you to flip the switch and only send home positive notes this year. You decide how often (once a day, once a week) but I’d start by running down my class list and making sure each child got a note sent home. It doesn’t have to be something extravagant they did, but it will totally make their day (especially for those kiddos that don't usually get good reports home)
It's important to work hard each year to build a connection with your families so they feel open to talking with you. What are your favorite ways to build positive parent communication? Let me know in the comments!