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Keeping Communication Lines Open Between Teachers and Parents

written by: Jacqueline Chinappi • edited by: Benjamin Sell • updated: 8/2/2012

Keeping parents in the know about what is going on in the classroom is a daunting task especially when you meet parents with different agendas. Some may be too preoccupied with what is going on while others you may find will not care less. Here are tips to keep communication balanced.

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    Starting on the Right Foot

    It is September which means new supplies, new students, and of course new parents! So the time has come to meet a whole new group of parents. These parents may not have the same personalities, wants, and needs as the parents of last year’s students. Actually most likely more than not these parents will definitely be different in many aspects.

    Parents have different relationships and personalities regarding their children. While one parent may be totally on the ball with what is going on in school another parent may be totally out of the loop. So what can a teacher do to ensure that every parent has at least an idea of what is going on in the classroom?

    The first thing a teacher needs to do is to meet with every parent during the first two weeks at a parent/ teacher conference. Send a note home a few days before the meeting to remind the parents of the meeting and also to tell them to bring in any questions they may have for the upcoming year. You could use the reminder letter below to help keep parents organized.

    If by any chance parents can not come up to the first conference meeting, and you will get a few who do not show up, you can plan on a private meeting with these parents at another time. I would make sure to meet with every parent though at least once during the first month. Even if this means just meeting for a few minutes in the morning or a few minutes in the afternoon.

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    Communication Folders

    Although, this next tip works very well with younger students it will also work with older students as well. Each student should have a folder which will stay in the schoolbag at all times. This folder will be used to send notes home and to allow parents to send notes to the teacher. This is your main line of communication between parents and teacher. Some forms which you may find useful to put in the folder are found below.

    This “Communication Folder” allows for the parents to stay up to date as well as keep you as the teacher up to date as to what the parents know regarding what is going on in the classroom. Communication between parents and teachers may not always go smoothly but by using these tips you may not have that difficult of a time regarding keeping the parents in the loop.

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    Images

    Parent Teacher Conference LetterHomework ScheduleCommunication Folder Questions/Reponses