6 Tips for Teacher Parent Communication: Principal’s Corner

Last week we shared part 1 of our series on teacher parent communication. You can find it here: https://possip.com/teacher-parent-communication-principals-corner/

We know that parents and teachers have diverse needs and wants.  Our last blog shares a bit about how principals can help teachers segment their parents.  We also want to share some tactical steps for teacher parent communication.teacher parent communication

Tactical Steps for Teacher Parent Communication

  • Use Technology:

    Many parents enjoy easily getting their student’s information on their phones or computers. Here are a few ways you can get parents easy access to information about their kids.

      1. Your District’s parent Portal
      2. Google Classroom: See what Google Classroom is here (https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/google-classroom/mfhehppjhmmnlfbbopchdfldgimhfhfk?hl=en) and learn how to use it here (https://www.thetechedvocate.org/how-to-use-google-classroom-to-boost-parental-involvement/)
      3. Class Website https://makemomentsmatter.org/classroom-ideas/communicating-with-parents-teacher-blogs-and-websites/ 
  • Make a 24 Hour Rule:

    One way to improve parent trust and communication is to create a teacher deadline or norm. This norm can be about responding to parents within 24 hours. It is helpful if teachers know they don’t have to immediately respond to the parent’s issue if they feel unprepeared- but let the teacher know they should just let the parent know they got their email or phone call and will follow up shortly.  For example, if the parent called with an issue the teacher can send a text. The text can say “Hey, I got your voice mail. I need to talk to a few people to get you the answer you need – but will follow up within {enter a time period}.”

    The 24 hour rule helps parents trust that teachers will respond to their call/email and get the answers they want. 

  • Student Agenda “Notes”:

    Elementary: Some parents find it helpful to get communication about their student through their child’s agenda/planner. This is especially helpful if the parent has work hours that are difficult for the teacher to get in touch with them. If teachers and parents wants to stay in daily communication, teachers can easily write a quick note in the student planner about how class went or how grades are doing in class. This helps the parent get the information. Also, the teacher doesn’t have to add another phone call on their list at the end of the day.

    If teachers or schools don’t already have a template, teachers can use a piece of notebook paper and label it, Daily Notes.  They can use a stamp that says things like “Great job” and then write more detailed notes when needed.

    Secondary:  If you are in a middle school with more than one teacher during the day, we have a different solution.  You can have places for all  teachers to write a note for each class. It’s also helpful for students to take on partial responsibility and ownership as to not lose the tracker. If you’d like to see an example “parent teacher communication student tracker,” please email amanda@possipit.com for a sample! 

  • Carve Out Times in Meetings:

    Some grade teams like to start their planning meetings with Parent Emails or Calls. They use the first 15 minutes to allow teachers to send an email or make a call to a parent. This helps give teachers time back to make those important calls and also can function as a “reminder” for them to follow through on making parent contact. It also can create some great inspiration for planning.  We also recommend teachers just ask, “are you happy with our school?”

  • Newsletter Blurb with Focus on “Meet the Teacher”:

    We find parents are sometimes hesitant to reach out to teachers due to lack of relationship. Research shows that teachers think their parents know them – but parents don’t feel the same level of comfort.  To help build relationships – and familiarity –  have a weekly “blurb” in the parent newsletter.  The blurb can focus on a different teacher or grade level each week.  You can share a quick bio about the teacher. Also include the best ways to get in touch with them. It is a fun way to build community and increase parent teacher communication.

  • Use the Possip Bonus Question: 

    Schools can use the Possip bonus question to ask parents to “Shout out a teacher with strong parent communication methods.” You will be able to publicly shout out these teachers.  You will be able to acknowledge the teachers who are doing this well. Finally, you will learn who the teachers are who can give a professional development to staff on effective teacher parent communication.

    If you aren’t using Possip, you can also add this as a detachable note on your newsletters.

If you have any questions about these parent-teacher communication tips or want to brainstorm about ways to increase parent-teacher communication at your specific school, please email amanda@possip.com for a thought partner!