It is extremely important to partner with parents for student success, especially in the primary grades. I’ve said it before and I will say it again: relationships are the cornerstone of an effective classroom.
Why is Parent Communication Important for Teachers?
It is so important to partner with parents for student success, especially in the primary grades. It really is a team effort and neither parents nor families can do it alone; we all have to work together. When parent communication is a top priority for teachers, families feel heard and part of their child’s learning and development. In turn, you will hopefully find that you have their support throughout the year. This can turn into a beautiful and successful school year.
What is the Best Way for Teachers to Communicate with Parents?
These days there are many different methods of parent communication for teachers to choose from:
- phone call
- note home
- parent communication app (I listed some app ideas below)
You have to do what works best for you and makes your life the easiest so parent communication for you as the teacher doesn’t feel like a difficult part of your day. I have a list of 5 must-have tools for positive parent communication that you may want to check out.
How Can Teachers Build POSITIVE Relationships with Parents?
I truly believe that if teachers communicate positively, consistently, and confidently with families then it will be a successful school year for all. Remember that no one likes to hear only the hard things. Let your parents know about the good things too! (hence the POSITIVE communication!)
When I was still in the classroom, I used to sign every email/note to parents with: “Partnering with you, Mrs. Foxwell.” It’s so important for parents (and students too) to know we are all on the same team! Don’t forget that building positive relationships with your students is JUST as important! Check out 6 ways to build positive relationships with students at the beginning of the year!
3 tips for GREAT Parent Communication for Teachers:
1. Have a SET System in Place
Whether it’s a weekly newsletter, monthly newsletter, email on Fridays or note in ClassDojo-just make sure you are consistent. Let parents know what your main system of communicating news and events to families is and continue that throughout the year consistently. If you said at the beginning of the school year that you will send an email home every Friday about the following week, then follow through with this. We are all creatures of habit and routine and parents will soon learn that this is part of their new routine for this school year.
If you need editable newsletters, calendars and even notes templates for communication with parents, you can grab it ALL in this Parent Communication Bundle.
2. Make Sure you Communicate the POSITIVE things too!
When communicating with parents, hopefully you don’t think that this always means calling home to tell them when Justin had a hard day of listening. Communicating with parents should be about the positive things happening at school too! As I said above, communicate positively, consistently and confidently to make it a great school year. Communicating about the positives on a REGULAR basis is going to increase that trust that parents will have with you and also increase their support when maybe you need to make a more difficult call one day. When I was in the classroom, I would strive to send home a positive note about every single student in my class once per month.
You can do this a few different ways:
-Send a positive message through the parent communication app that you use about what a great job they did in reading, math, etc. that day.
-Send a picture of them working hard during centers or on a specific assignment.
-Do a quick 3 minute phone call at the end of the day praising their child.
These messages can be academic focused (“Sam worked so hard sounding out his words today when we were reading together! I’m so proud of him and just had to let you know!”) or even character focused (“Lily showed such kindness today at recess when she saw a friend sitting by themselves and invited her to join in their game.”) It can be short and sweet, but sharing the good things with parents throughout the year is so important!
3. Keep a Parent Communication Log
Speaking of communicating positively with families, keep a parent communication log to keep track of every communication effort that you have with families during the school year. You can can use it digitally or keep it in a binder on your desk by your phone and write it down. Grab this parent communication log that includes a binder cover AND is editable!
Keep track of who initiated the communication, how you communicated and what the reason or message was. Always put the date that you communicated with parents as well! This way you can look at the end of the week and see if it’s been a few weeks since you checked in with a particular family. You might decide to call them and give them some positive news about their child before the weekend and continue to keep the teacher-parent relationship a very positive one! The parent communication log is also available in this Parent Communication EDITABLE BUNDLE!
4 Great APPS for Parent-Teacher Communication
We are deep into the digital age and sometimes it might just be easier for parents to check an app on their phone in our busy schedules. Here are 4 apps to try as a teacher for communication with parents that are well loved:
Positive Parent Communication from Teachers is SO Important!
Remember, the MORE that you communicate with families, the LESS messages you will receive from them asking for clarification or more details. It’s a win-win for both the teacher and parents. By being proactive with parent communication you are not only saving yourself time in the end, but also building positive relationships with your students’ families. This ultimately results in greater success for your students!!