Monday, September 9, 2013
Maintaining Contact with Parents
A parent came in to complain about her child's grades and how the school needed to be doing more. The employee looked at her and said, "Name three of your child's teachers." The parent paused nodded her head and said, "I see your point, have a nice day."
The moral of the story is that parents tend to only get involved when things go bad, when they would be more useful getting involved from the start!
On the first day of class we do several things. I have a PowerPoint where I go over class expectations and rules. Then they fill out a gap fill restating the rules. The final part is to take the paper home to their parents. The bottom of the paper is a short letter (in Spanish) to the parents. It explains that they can access engrade, or twitter to get a hold of me in addition to my e-mail. I also offer to speak with them in Spanish if they don't feel comfortable in English.
This way, right away I have opened up the channels of communication. Not all parents choose to contact me, but I know that I gave them the option to get involved from day one.
This year when I sent out the letter I received an e-mail that very night from a mother sent from her iPhone. It was written in Spanish, but the loosely translated it said, "Hello. It is very nice on your part to introduce yourself, and it is very nice to meet you. I am the mother of (student). This is the first time that a teacher has shown this kindness. I wish you the best."
I know it is silly, but notes like that really make me feel like I am on the right track.
There are some more suggestions here. How do you make sure that your parents stay up to date with your class?