Communicating with Parents

Teacher and parent meeting in classroom. Boy kid student with mother in school. Flat style vector illustration isolated on white background.

I have spent most of my years in education of some sort. In some of those times, I was a Customer Service Trainer for a major bank’s headquarters in Southern California. I learned the importance of good communication and why a good healthy dialog with parents is essential. How we communicate, especially how we start off sets the stage for positive interactions throughout the year. Building an emotional and relationship bank account to communicate student needs.  Remember that the child is most cherished by the parent; thus, open communication is a must. Communicate that we are here for them and providea very personal service to both parents and students. When parents know they have your ear, then most problems with them will not come about. (Later in this post under thank-you, I will discuss boundaries with parents with one sentence).

Introduce ourselves and relive parent anxiety. They will listen when they know you want to do what is best for their child.

Putting Customer Service into Our Teaching

Recognize the parent or caregiver during our introduction. Greet and say hello.

“Hello Mrs. Wiers, I am going to be Stevie’s teacher for 6th grade, I am here to help him to have the very best year possible.”

Introduce ourselves to ease parents’ minds about us. For the first day of class, have parents stay for the first few minutes. Give out our background, degrees, credential, why we are qualified to teach their child. Why did we become a teacher, and what we expect to accomplish this school year. This builds credibility and confidence for the parents.

“Hello Mrs. Wiers, I am Dr. Krejcir, I am going to be Stevie’s RSP teacher for 6th grade. I am here to help him to have the very best year possible.”

“Mrs. Wiers, I have over 30 years working with disabled students here in the States and overseas. I have several advanced degrees and a certified teacher. I also have a brother with autism and a son with HFA. I know a bit what you are going through. I want you to know, I am here for you too. It is my passion and goal to work with your child to be successful in my class and in life too. I am excited to begin this school year with Stevie.”

Expect, describe what the parents should expect in the first few weeks of school. What will be the projects, assignments, grading, and lengths of time for them too.

“Together we can help Stevie to not only learn, but engage precious life skills. I have a handout of the class procedures, expectations, needs and other resources for you, and how every student has the opportunity to learn and be successful.”

Happening, explain what will happen, what you will provide for their child, The general ideas and any particulars too.

“In the next 30 days, I want to meet with you to learn more about Stevie, your thoughts and expectations. And I will have a survey too after 30 days for your feedback to see how he is doing and what is needed.”

Thank-You, give apperception for the parents for big an active participant in their child’s education. Provide our contact information and let them know we are available anytime.

“Thank-you for being a part of Method Schools and choosing us for Stevie’s education. I am looking forward to working with you and Stevie. Here is my contact information (business card) that has my email and phone number and when it is best to contact me and when I am not available. Feel free to email, text or call me anytime for anything. However, after school between 3pm and 7pm is best for me. What is the best phone number, time and means to get a hold of you? Have a great day!

You can take these ideas and create your own script / talking points / key words. Above is what I developed and use for myself.  Think about how you will introduce yourself. Also plan ahead, let parents know when you will call each of your parents.

It is very important to make contact with parents even before the school year begins if possible. And this works great, seek to enlist a parent volunteer to have a weekly newsletter for your class. Provide the information to them. This keeps involvement up and communication golden.

Call parents with this before the first day of school, at a school meeting, or open house. Email or call with instructions before the first day of class and any Facebook or web page info. Write an introductory note to parents too.

“Hello Mrs. Wiers, I am Dr. Krejcir, I am going to be Stevie’s RSP teacher for 6th grade. I am here to help him to have the very best year possible. Here you will find my portal for our class. I hope to meet with you at our open house on…”

Ideas:

https://whatsrightineducation.com/2013/07/23/teachers-use-aidet-to-communicate-with-parents-before-first-day-of-school/

https://www.scoop.it/t/parent-engagement-by-studer-education

Dr. Richard Krejcir is an Author, Researcher, seasoned Special Education teacher and the Director of a nonprofit that does educational training in third-world countries. He is also a STEAM teacher and a father of a son with autism.

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