Communicate

I think all teachers can agree that a partnership needs to exist between parents and teachers in order to help children succeed.  One way to build that partnership is by communicating with parents and keeping them informed.

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.

I start this by handing out informational flip books on Meet the Teacher Night:

These are going to be a huge help because parents will have all the information about our classroom in one handout.  A teacher on Instagram suggested adding some magnetic tape to the back of these so that parents can hang them up on the fridge to refer to throughout the year.  Amazing idea! 


One of the best ways to keep parents updated throughout the year 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 your letters now.  Just enter your subject on top, and type of the letter.  I also included a set with blank headers so you are able to type anything into that area.


An these are my latest creations to keep my parents up to date:

After I sent out my updated Newsletters, I thought "wouldn't it be nice to include a calendar on the back of this so parents can hang it up on the fridge?" So that's how this set was born!  Now parents can read the newsletter and then hang up the calendar to stay 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 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.

Thank you for reading about ways that I keep my parents informed!

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