One of my goals each year is to improve my parent communication. Most schools have a procedure for making parent contacts, but I believe we should try our best to make our classrooms a welcoming environment. After all, as Sasha always says, “you are teaching someone’s baby, no matter if they’re 3 or 21, it is someone’s BABY”. Now I literally work with the youngest population in our school, so I knew I wanted to be extra diligent with my parents as I know everyone is a little anxious sending their three-year-old off into the big school. I wanted them to know they were safe, loved, happy, and doing just fine. Here are some of the ways I have accomplished that while establishing expectations.
Oh, Class Dojo. My heart. This FREE (did I mention free?) communication system has increased my parent communication tenfold. We live in the age of texting and this brilliant desktop and app system allows for that. You use your computer or the phone app however; your personal number is never shown. Whether it is personal choice or because of work, I have many parents who prefer the direct messaging feature as their main communication. I think it is also very important to set expectations such as hours of contact. While parents can send you a message at any time, you can set silent hours. I also make it clear that I will not respond after a certain time after school as we all have our own families to be with! Check out the video below for a quick overview!
I love sending a positive message before school starts to welcome my new babies and let their parents know I care about their child! Plus, who doesn’t love getting mail? Our school also has a great little system where every month during one of our team meetings we take the time to write out positive post card notes home. My kids loved receiving them and I know the parents really appreciate it. I got these cute post cards from amazon (actually had six different designs).
About Me & Notes Home
At the start of every school year, I create an “About Me” page. It is kid friendly and gives parents notable information. I found this template for free on teachers pay teachers by Oh Kindergarten. Edit it to your appropriate grade and of course add other information that is pertinent to your school. PS I upload this to my Class Dojo story so parents can have a sneak peak before back to school!
I absolutely love sending daily notes home with my kids. I truly only use these specific ones for my kiddos who are nonverbal at this time or have difficulty communicating. I will post weekly on Class Dojo about upcoming “happenings” however, I feel for our students with language needs it is extra important to let their parents know if they ate that morning or how they were feeling. I simply use a bingo dauber to mark the appropriate boxes. To be super efficient, I prepare the next days’ notes by writing their name, date, and the areas I know we will be completing before I leave school. If the morning was super hectic and they don’t make it in the bookbag I can simply take a picture and again, send on direct message through Class Dojo! You can find links to more tips on home communication and resources here and here. Happy communicating!