Printable Forms For Contacting Parents
Contacting home is often difficult. In some situations you may need to contact over 150 homes. Using these quick and simple forms for keeping in touch with parents and guardians.
- Alphabet Recognition - A great way to encourage parents to participate in their child's education. Here is the note to parents: Your child was recently tested on the upper case letters of the alphabet. Circled letters are letters your child did not recognize. Please help us master this skill at home. Thank you.
- Learning Contract Maker - Learning contracts help the teacher and student share the responsibility for achieving desired outcomes. Make a student-teacher contract for free with TeAch-nology.com.
- Online Good News / Bad News Reports - Too busy to tell students and parents how they are doing? This powerful tool allows you to send electronic feedback to up to 50 people by making one report. Your reports come with music and graphics too.
- Parent / Teacher Conference Plan Generator - This generator can be used to make a helpful form that can assist you at all parent teacher conferences.
- Weekly Progress Report Generator - This generator creates reports that can be used to communicate a student's weekly progress with their parent/guardians. This should save you many phone calls.
Teacher Resources on Communicating With Parents
- Five Secrets for Parents to Help Encourage Responsible Use of the Internet - Simple tips to make your children safe and sound.
- How To Have A Successful Parent Teacher Conference - Communication with parents or guardians is an essential for students' growth and learning. One means of communication is the Parent-Teacher Conference. It is a time for parents and teacher to discuss a student in a constructive and beneficial manner.
- How to Effectively Use Report Cards - We look at how to make your comments effective and helpful for both students and parents.
- Report Card Comments - Tons of premade report card comments for you.
- Parent Conferences Teaching Ideas - Tips from practicing teachers.
- Parent Resources - A number of quality places to find resources.
Ways to Improve Parent-Teacher Communication
Simply enrolling in a good school is not enough to guarantee the academic success of a child, no matter what the age. It is integral for the teachers to keep an open line of communication with the parents, guardians, or caregivers to ensure the child's progress.
Effective communication benefits all parties involved. In this case, there are three stakeholders, and all three profit from a transparent exchange of information, personal thoughts and concerns, and progress reports.
Teachers don't walk into a classroom, present a lesson, and exit when the bell rings. They develop a bond with the student with the sole purpose of contributing to the child's academic success. By looping in the parent, the teachers can make them have a more active role in their child's learning journey, whether it is further clarification of a concept at home or homework completion. By having an involved parent, you can have an active learner in the class.
Students don't study and learn in a bubble. Their home environment heavily influences them. Sometimes they might have additional learning needs that they cannot communicate themselves. Open communication with the teacher is an excellent way of contextualizing for the teacher why a student might be struggling and sharing insights about the learner that the teacher might be unaware of.
It creates a nurturing environment for the student both at home and school. It encourages the student to excel and motivates them to achieve more. It also ensures a support system for the child if they fail or underperform, helping them to communicate their learning needs and desires to the adults in their lives. A healthy communication channel between the parents and teachers has resulted in better attendance and class behavior, which can easily be tracked as an extension of a healthy mind and environment.
Ways of Reaching Out
Times have changed, and there are numerous ways of reaching out to parents. Communication for the student's betterment is not limited to parent-teacher meetings alone.
- Regular emails sharing successes or concerns are a helpful piece of communication.
- An online database that can track growth, scores, notes, and other important information is an ideal way to aggregate feedback.
- A phone call can be made more interactive by scheduling a Zoom call.
- School events are a great way of sneaking in pockets of updates. These can be effective in situations where there isn't extensive feedback, or one wants to reduce the appearance of severity.
The quality of the communication channel can only be improved if we have established a communication channel, to begin with. One cannot assume that parent-teacher communication is a given. Sometimes thoughts and concerns are spontaneous and cannot be scheduled for the end of the term or a meeting date two weeks later. Teachers can adopt an earnest and honest open-door policy where a parent can approach them to discuss their child's progress whenever the need arises.
Confidence and Confidentiality
it is crucial that the parents trust the teacher of their child. They need to know that the adult responsible for teaching their child is competent and caring. Parents need to be reassured that whatever has been discussed about the child is in strict confidence and is not being shared with other parents or teachers. This is especially important in cases where the student might have a learning disability or is severely struggling.
Regular over Intermittent Communication
Don't bombard the parents and overwhelm them with constant updates, but communication between the two parties should be regular. It shouldn't feel like an afterthought where the parent thinks the teacher doesn't care about their child or has forgotten them. Keep them in the loop of successes and problems. Sometimes teachers only reach out when there are concerns to share, which might make the parents think that there are no positives to focus on.
Often, teachers will focus on the frequency of communication and what channel they are opting for, whether in person, in writing, or via Zoom. However, an element of communication most overlooked is the tone. Tone matters for both verbal and written communication.
It sets an excellent mood for the rest of the conversation, no matter how difficult it might be if the start of the discussion is warm and positive. No student underperforms at a level where nothing positive can be said about them. Starting with what is working in the student's favor or a particular habit that benefits them or their classmates is a great conversation starter.
When sharing harsh feedback, keep in mind that you don't have access to all information from the parents' side. Maybe it's a difficult time for them. Perhaps they have been swamped with work or domestic responsibilities. Empathetic communication wins hearts and yields better results.
Empathetic communication requires being kind in relaying information and making a genuine effort to understand where the other person is coming from. To understand your student's home environment, ask questions seeking insights, and ensure you're not intrusive.
Don't Be Judgemental
A teacher might learn something about the student's home life or the parents' background that they disagree with. It is not your place to judge them or make assumptions. Parents are trying to give their children a better education and a standard of living than what they had. Whether it's about the availability of monetary resources, their religion or language, or marital status, be aware that all families are different. Communication should be tailored accordingly.
Whether it is a tangible notebook or an online database, it is an effective way to keep track of all notes and updates between both parties. Diligent record-keeping never hurts anyone and will only create an environment for the student primed for their academic success.
Parent-teacher communication is not a clinical process. It needs to be dealt with sensitivity and care. Some dialogues might take a difficult turn, but it is essential to remember that no matter the disagreement, both parties have a common goal, and that is the student's academic success.