One of the hallmarks of a good teacher is effective home-school communication.
In practical experience however, that is easier said than done. I know, because I’ve been there.
What if the parents in your class don’t speak English? What if they are struggling with literacy issues? What if they just toss a newsletter in the trash, or else it never makes it home? Why bother?
What if the parents are so hyper-involved that they gobble up every word you email them twenty seconds after you click “send”? What if they are questioning your every move?
The Gold Standard
In my opinion, the gold standard of home-school communication is sending out a weekly classroom newsletter or email. Yes, it takes at least thirty minutes to write something decent, but those thirty minutes will solve a ton of problems before they start. Spend effort composing your letter, and you will earn parents’ trust.
If you are already sending out a weekly classroom newsletter, you get an A!
Want an A+? Here’s the next step:
Train parents to be teachers at home.
How are you supposed to do that? Don’t worry; I’m here to help!
All you need to do is include a Tip of the Week at the end of each of your classroom emails.
Each Tip of the Week is appropriate for grades K-4. They describe simple, meaningful things that parents can do to support learning at home. None of them include any advertisements.
The permanent home of this information is: http://teachingmybabytoread.blog.com/for-teachers/ I will be updating that page soon, and building up my list of tips.
So if you have parents in your classroom begging you for more, more, more information, here’s something to help.
P.S. Please note that my entire blog is copyrighted. You cannot cut and paste from my blog posts, but you can cut and paste the links themselves. Does that make sense? So if you wanted to include my entire Tip of the Week list on your classroom website for example, you have my permission to cut and paste everything below. Just don’t cut and paste from the actual posts themselves. Thanks! 🙂