Friday, July 6, 2012

Parent Contact

It's the one thing, that as a teacher, can truly effect your reputation in the community. It can make you be known as "That teacher who never calls" or "That teacher who calls over EVERY little thing".
There is a fine line you walk when handling it....I'm talking about parent communication.

Thanks to technology, we have several means of communication- phone, email, websites, good ol' fashioned notes, and in person!
We've all had those unplanned, tried to hide from you but dang you saw me, spontaneous parent conferences in the cereal aisle of the local grocery store. I've been cornered by parents at church, at football games, at the movies......

But how do you maintain a healthy parent/school line of communication without being that teacher who calls to the point that the parents are looking at the caller id before they pick up your call (or not!)

Not every parent WANTS to be involved. Not every parent WILL. But we have to give them the opportunity from day one, and the continued chance to jump in there at any point in the year in hopes that they do what is best for their child (like WE'RE trying to do!!)

One of the things my new principal really pushes (and excels at) is parent communication. She finds every opportunity to involve parents in what is going on in their child's day in hopes of strengthening that home-school connection. She has teachers fill out "Positive Referrals" on students and every morning on the announcements, she reads their name out over the television and invites them to come to her office to 'celebrate' their referral. The referral can be for anything....academic, behavior, etc. The student gets to select a 'prize from the principal' and she calls the parent to let them know what their child did worthy of an office celebration. The kids LOVE it! The parents LOVE it!

She requires teachers to make 3 positive contacts a week. At first, admittedly, I was hesitant......wasn't quite sure how that would be received. I have to say, it went over very well!!! Parents loved it....especially the ones who were always expecting the bad calls and were surprised it was a good phone call!! They began to look forward to it.

This year, she wants us to document our parent contact. Not to make sure everyone is doing it...that's not her style....if she needs to call someone out, she WILL! But she wants it so if we have a parent with an issue and they say " I never heard anything from the teacher" she has the documentation to back up how that wasn't true!!! So, I created this document and am going to run it front and back, and put in my teacher binder (which I will post more on later) . Feel free to grab if you want!

How do you document parent contact?


  1. We say every year that the first week we need to call parents just to make a connection and say hello. So often we only contact parents when there's issues. Love the idea of keeping track of the calls as well. It forces you to do it!!! :)
    ~Christy & Tammy

    1. So true! When my principal started requiring 3 postive parent contacts a week and I started writing them down, I must admit that I found I had a pattern of only contacting those parents who were 'easy' to deal with or who had the 'good kiddos'. It really opened my eyes and made me realize I needed to contact ALL my parents more frequently (not just when there is a problem).

  2. I love your Parent Communication Document! I communicate...but I need to do a better job of it and keeping track of it! Thanks for sharing!

    A Pirates Life for Us

    1. Glad you found it useful! Thanks for stopping by!