I have gotten a lot of emails lately about a tricky topic. Parent communication. What’s enough? What’s too much? How can you find that perfect balance and make the parents happy while not completely stressing yourself out. I told you – tricky.
I always feel torn regarding this issue. I cannot imagine how frustrating it is to have your child come home each day and not be able to hear about his day. However my day is jam packed and as much as I’d love to write a detailed note to each parent each day – honestly – there is just no way. It would take away from academic/IEP time – which I don’t want either.
I have used a daily note home in the past. I have mixed emotions on it. It can be helpful by providing a brief snapshot. But I do think the daily notes do often fall into the snack/lunch/generic comment due to the time constraints. It is going to depend on what the parents in your classroom are comfortable with. Some parents really appreciate the little bit of info each day. I love this picture format because then your student can help you fill it out! Even your nonverbal students can assist in this process! Download a freebie here - Visual Home Letter.
With most of my parents – I tend to go quality over quantity. For my parents who are involved – I write a weekly report about what we worked in the past week and what is coming up next week with suggestion for activities for home. It’s not as much communication as a daily note – but I personally would find it much more helpful. And I feel like I can add some real content because I can sit and type on my computer when I have some real time. I am also a huge texter – which might sound weird but it is so much easier and is a great way to add in those great anecdotes we all want to share! I can text parents a quick pic of their child or a funny story easily in the middle of the day.
I also do a monthly newsletter. This is fun way to give all of the parents a recap on our past month and a little preview on the month to come! The kids really look forward to reading these! I have a template of this in my Must-Have Forms and Templates Packet.
I use this collaboration log to track my communications with all parents. These may seem like extra work that is not necessary but I promise you – if you are ever in a questionable due-process-like-scenario – you will be HAPPY you have this little buddy. It’s also a great way to see which parents you haven’t connected with in a while. This template is also in the Must-Haves Resource!
How do you communicate with parents?