Each year I target an area I want to focus in on and improve on. This year I chose parent communication. I've always kept my parents informed and up to date, but this year I really wanted to step it up and bring it to a whole new level. Therefore this month's topic for Together We Are Better is right up my alley :-)
In the process of keeping my parents informed, I created some easy to use printables that will help me accomplish this goal.
One of the best ways to keep parents updated is to send out newsletters. My school sends home multiple page newsletters and sadly, they don't get read. There is just too much going on them. I wanted to create something that was easy for me to type up, but easy for parents to read. The simple streamlined design makes it easy to focus in on what's important. Ever since I started sending them out, my parents have actually been reading them. Many of them have stopped by to tell me how much they appreciate these newsletters.
This is what they look like:
Here is an example of my February newsletter:
Next up are my letter templates. On a typical teaching day, you don't have time to sit and make a great looking letter, so what I used to do was just type up some word document and send it home. I then realized I needed to have a template ready to go so that I could just type up my letters and print. Once I made one template, I couldn't stop, so I made multiple ones so I'm not sending home the same design home over and over again. The kids love these letters! A great "side affect" was that my class thought they were so cute, they are actually showing the letters to their parents right away :-) It's so easy to make my letters now. I just enter the subject on top and type up the letter. I use these ALL THE TIME.
An these are my latest creations to keep my parents up to date:
I'm also using these calendars to keep track of interventions I do with specific children. This type of documentation is especially important during IEP meetings and parent conferences. You can also use them as behavior charts, for long range planning, agendas etc.
This is a sample of one of my March calendar:
I'm thrilled about these! The best part is that they are predated, all I have to do is enter my text and print! If you purchase these, you will have updates on this set for life. This means that the dates will be updated for you every year.
If you take a look at all of these resources you will notice that they all coordinate and match. This is on purpose! When parents see something with this type of design, they will know that it's from me, their chid's teacher. Let's face it, parents see so much stuff come home in their child's backpack that things get pushed to the side. If they see a document they recognize is from me, it's more likely to get read. I love printing these on bright colored paper to make them stand out even more :)
I also created one other item that is saving me time and helping me with my parents.
These note templates are saving me some major time. Many times I want to write up a quick note but once again, don't have the time to set up the design, look through clip art, size the notes as I want them etc... So I created these templates that are ready to go. All I have to do is enter that text and hit print. I'm using them as positive notes to parents, notes to coworkers, parent reminders, and my favorite; notes to students. Someone left feedback on these notes saying that they kept a stack of these notes in their desk with the words "From the desk of_____" along the top. These make the perfect stationary. I love to praise my kids for good things that they do. These are perfect for that!
If you like these templates, you can pick them up in my bundle. All of these files are in just one download :-) You can also pick up individual ones that you are interested in.
You cannot underestimate the value of parent communication! This year I began tracking every conversation I've had with parents. Boy, that was one of the best decisions I have ever made. This year I have a rambunctious and interesting class. Lots of stuff is happening outside at recess and I've been communicating so much via phone with my parents. We have had meetings where I needed specific dates of when I spoke with parents and admin. On a typical year, I could have confirmed a general time frame and given some general info on what I remembered. Well, not this year. I have the exact date and TIME as well as notes of what our conversation was about. Parents are impressed, admin is impressed, and I am NOT stressed out trying to remember all these details. It's all on my log. It takes a big load off my mind. I will post about my Data/Evidence Binder later on and share this printable with you. Make sure to come back for that!