Saturday, August 9, 2014

You Oughta Know About Keeping Parents Informed

Today, I'm linking up in my first Blog Hop, hosted by Mrs. McClain at Buzzing with Mrs. McClain.  Her monthly hop is titled "You Oughta Know".  

You oughta know about keeping parents informed. 

How many times have you heard a parent say they don't hear from their child's teacher, or aren't kept inform of their child's progress?  When I hear this, I get very frustrated politely explain that parent-teacher communication goes beyond the traditional phone calls. With a large class size, no aide, recess/bus duty, and planning time occupied by state required data sheets, I don't have time to make frequent phone calls.  Instead, here are ways I do communicate and keep parents informed. 
  • A behavior calendar: Record what color the student is on at the end of the day. If on red, I write down why.  
  • A weekly newsletter:  This keeps parents informed of what goals/skills we are working on in class, tips to practice at home, homework, and upcoming events.  
  • A monthly school newsletter:  This is sent out by the office to keep them informed of overall achievements, concerns (if any) in the building, and safety policies. 
  • School work: If work is marked wrong, that is a form of communicating the child is having difficulty with that skill. 
  • Quarterly progress reports
  • Quarterly report cards
  • Photos
  • Periodic phone calls
  • Conferences
  • emails
  • Traveling class books - The kids love sharing these with their families.  It's a great way for parents to compare their child's work to others.  I like to attach a page for parent comments, and we read those aloud for the boys and girls to hear in class.  
  • Parent letters - Year after year, I'd find myself quickly handwriting notes to send home, trying to explain the child's struggle and ways the parents can help at home.  Now, I've created these wonderful parent letter forms to keep in my files, and simply send home if needed.  They are a HUGE time saver! 
    Parent-Teacher communication ~ Name writing
Now that you know how I keep parents informed, I'd like to know what works best for you.  Do you have a favorite method that seems to please all the parents? Leave a comment below, then hop on over to see what others think you oughta know.  


  1. Thanks for sharing. I mostly use email. Most of the time it is just a quick class update. I'm not great on doing it on a regular basis, as in every Friday or Wednesday. But I probably send out 3-4 per month with what we've been working on and what's coming up. I also use Class Dojo for behavior which sends an automatic email behavior update every Friday and parents can check in at any time. And I love Remind, formerly Remind101. I can do a quick text to all or just several families on the fly without them having my cell number. (As you can see I'm kind of a geek.) If a family doesn't have email, I print a copy of the email for them and send it home. Most if not all do though.

    1. Laurie, thanks for hoppin' by to read my post. I'm so happy you mentioned Class Dojo. It was brought to my attention during a meeting last year, and I had forgotten to check it out. I'm off to do that now. And, I've had problems in the past with parents having my cell number, so I stopped giving it out and sending them texts. I will look into the Remind. Maybe that is something that will work out for me. Thanks for your feedback :-)