Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Parent Communication

Today I started thinking about home-school communication because last night, one of my students called me 5 times.  He got ahold of his mom's cell phone while she was busy and called me to ask about field trips, when I was coming for a home visit, and to let me know he missed me.  HILARIOUS! I was laughing so hard.  This very rarely happens, but when it does, it cracks me up!

Back when I was student teaching, I felt like parents communicated with special education teachers via home/school notebooks.  I was just wondering how many people still use these for parent communication?  My first year, I tried doing these, but they became so much work and took so much time to fill out!  Starting in my second year of teaching, I switched to text messaging parents.  When I tell my friends this, they are shocked that I text with parents, but it really makes all of our lives so much easier as texting is so much more convenient for both me and my parents.  I text parents quick updates (good and bad) about their child's day, send them pictures when their child goes on a field trip or does great work, or send quick reminders about picture day/assemblies, etc.  

Every once and awhile, I have a parent who calls too often or at inconvenient times of day.   When I do have problems with a parent and phone calls, I just set explicit boundaries ("I will only take phone calls between __am and __pm").  For the most part, I have no problems with my parents...and for the most part, I don't mind if they call me at any hour of the day (especially is they have an emergency!).

Speaking of emergencies, I once had a parent call me on a Saturday night over winter break because her child was threatening to run away from home to go back to school.  She didn't know what to do.  After I talked to my student for a couple minutes on the phone and reassured him how many days of winter break were left until we had school again, he calmed down and remained anxiety free the rest of the break.   It's times like that I am happy all my parents have my phone number! Who could deny helping out a kid/parent in that situation?! 

I have found this works super well for me...what works best for you guys?


  1. stumbled upon your blog and love it! This is my 6th year teaching what we call a "Phase 2 classroom" aka functional room (middle school). I do both: notebooks, and texts! My notebooks have boardmaker pictures in it that I and my students (those who can), circle to show about their day. Then I write a quick note in more detail. I use text messages for quick things like if I know another adult is picking up a student other than the parent ("Joe had a great day!") or if something was forgotten or if there was a behavior issue at home parents can warn me ahead of time.

    What grade/s do you teach? Love a lot of your ideas!

    1. I love the idea of a board maker note each day! I teach 3-4th grade. Thanks for reading! Have a great Thanksgiving!

  2. In our school we have a daily homenote sent back and forth. I am very big on email. I used to have a website this past year but it is too much work to keep up to date with every other demand,

  3. I teach in a Pre-school Emergent Language Program and send home a written log everyday, keeping a copy for myself as well. I like the idea of texting because I feel it takes so much of my time each day to fill out these log sheets which can look very similar day to day that you wonder how many parents really pay attention to the daily notes.