Saturday, July 30, 2016

10 Things To Do Before Back to School: #5

When your classroom is set up, everything is organized and you have decided how you are going to run your classroom this school year, you should begin to think about how you are going to communicate with parents and families.  

Your relationship with families should be one of a partnership or team - working toward the same goal - the success of the child.  Start your school year on the right foot by introducing yourself early to families.  An early email or newsletter can give students and families an introduction into who you are and how you run your classroom.  

When I receive my class list I immediately send a welcome newsletter to all of my families.  I then also mail a postcard to all of my families reminding them of our school's open house coming up.  You can check out this editable pack in my store by clicking on the picture below.  

Throughout the year there are several ways you can stay in contact with your families and create an open communication atmosphere.  Monthly and weekly newsletters informing families on school and classroom events, standards students are learning and other important information - is an easy way to keep parents up to date.  I send home paper copies in my student's take home binders each week, as well as send out an electronic copy that students can easily access from their phone.  

The Remind app (formerly Remind 101) is an app that allows parents to receive text message reminders from their child's teacher and/or school.  You can sign up for free on their website or app (click on the picture above for a link).  You create a class (ex: Kindergarten 2016-2017) then there are several ways you can invite parents to sign up.  During the year, you can send quick text message reminders or messages to your families through a mass text.  I like this app for how easy it is to use, but also because it keeps parent contact information private.  Parents who sign up cannot see other parents' phone numbers like you can in a typical group message which allows for privacy.

In addition, I do provide families with my cell phone number at the beginning of the school.  If they choose, they can text me their cell phone number and throughout the year I send them quick pictures and videos of their child learning and having fun.  It's also a quicker way to send me a short message throughout the day about dismissal changes, birthday treats, etc.  I have had several parents use this option and I've never had a parent take advantage of having my phone number.  

Finally, I highly recommend doing home visits with your families at some point throughout the school year.  Ideally, this would happen before the school year begins, however, if you don't get a chance to then, please consider taking the time to do home visits at least once.  I chose to do home visits this past year and they were amazing - you can read about it HERE!

1 comment:

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