A key ingredient to student success is communicating with parents. The more parents know about what’s happening in school, the more supportive they are of their children’s teachers.
An easy and effective way to build strong communication channels with parents is via a regular update. In fact, a recent nation-wide survey noted that a whopping 84% of teachers said a top priority for communications is building trust with parents.
Ready to dive in?
- Stay consistent: when parents know their classroom update arrives in their inbox every Monday at 4pm, they appreciate that you’re taking the time to keep them informed.
Principal, Van Allen Elementary, Iowa City CSD
2. State classroom policies clearly and regularly: homework, late work, grading, etc. Parents breathe easier when there’s no ambiguity about the rules.
3. Share assignments and due dates. Kids excel at playing their parents; make it harder by keeping parents up-to-date 😜.
4. Show off their kids: When parents see their child in your update, they see evidence of a solid relationship. Keep a checklist to make sure that you include every child over the course of a month.
"Keep a checklist to make sure that you include a photo of every child over the course of a month."
5. Give parents talking points: Share weekly prompts that help parents connect with their kids about school, like, "Ask your child to explain: why plants turn toward the sun" or "Ask your child to show you: Three ways to multiply two-digit numbers."
6. Solicit parent input: Parents appreciate when you value their opinions. Include a monthly poll or survey in your newsletter, and make sure to share how you incorporate their feedback.
7. Share a good resource. Parenting is trial and error. If you come across a good article, blog post, or website with info that will help parents support their learners at home, pass it along!
No need to start from scratch. We made a school newsletter template to help you get started. Good luck! If you have a success story to share, we’d love to hear it. Write to kara at smore dot com, and I’d be glad to feature your story in a blog post or newsletter.