Communication Between Teachers and Parents

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Finding the most effective

means of communication with more than 160 parents was not always easy for me as a high school teacher. I did, however, discover a crucial ally in the Internet. I learned how to make email contact lists for the parents on my own, depending on which class the child was in. Being constantly informed about activities, homework, tests, and even behavior made parents very happy. It would be a lie for me to claim that I realized the significance of such communication for myself.

I was made aware of how crucial it is by the third-grade teacher of my daughter.

Mrs. Buch started sending weekly letters to all parents from the beginning. They were very upbeat, lighthearted, and informative. She always included a “Thought for the Week” with information about upcoming tests, assignments, and information for the following week. She would also post grades online and send individual Friday reports about each student. My daughter had a wonderful year thanks to Mrs. Buch, and I had a wonderful teacher who inspired me as a parent and educator. In terms of parent involvement and communication, I made the professional decision that I needed to be more like her.

When I think back to the days

when parents called, I always felt like I had to put all of them first. The kids who failed or were at risk of failing, the kids who had problems with their behavior, the kids who didn’t turn in their homework, and so on. The encouraging letters or phone calls were few and far between. There was no time at all with a photocopier and her own handwriting, Mrs. Buch made everything seem so simple. I truly believe I became my best teacher during and after that year.

My parents frequently

thanked me for keeping in touch on a weekly basis and responding to any emails within 24 hours. Conduct issues diminished enormously; students would even send me homework via email when they were absent. Naturally, I also improved as a teacher by attending Professional Development sessions and visiting other classes (after all, isn’t that the purpose of Professional Development?). However, Mrs. Buch made me realize that teacher-parent-student teamwork must continue during these crucial developmental years.

I used to think

that high school students had a right to more independence as young adults. Naturally, I also believed that discussions about the importance of doing their homework, diligent study, and appropriate behavior, as well as conferences between teachers and students, would be well received. But if we, as adults, make mistakes on a regular basis, how can we expect our children to live up to such high standards? Yes, kids, even if they’d rather be called “young adults”!

Teachers must maintain

constant communication with all parents. In the age of information, we have access to an excellent tool. A simple admittance to grades is representative of a simple admittance to educators and to a vital piece of our kids’ regular routines. Is this the solution to low state sanctioned test scores? Nein in its entirety! However, I believe that this ongoing involvement is essential to success in our educational system. I’m grateful, Mrs. Buch!