Minds in Bloom Presents Tasia Fields is an educator and blogger behind Great Minds Teach Alike with her favorite tools for keeping in touch with parents. Enjoy!
Lets face it, with all the responsibilities of being an educator, communicating with parents usually falls to the bottom of the bottomless list of things a teacher has to do. I've found that with the use of social networks, Class Dojo, and weekly newsletters. These quick and easy tools makes it easy for me to not only communicate with parents but maintain that communication regularly. That's right, my parents are informed and updated regularly on what we are learning, projects done in class, and what's happening with the school and behavior in our classroom! Here how!
Create a Class Social Network Page
Did you know you can create a class page on any of these sites and regularly post information for your parents to see? Twitter limits you to 140 characters and Instagram requires you to use a photo. The options are endless with social media. You can post videos, reminders, photo's of student work etc. all at the hands of your cell phone or handheld wireless device. I created class page on Facebook a year ago and I get nothing but positive responses from parents and students about the ease of being able to contact me. Check out my class page here.
Many teachers are worried about legalities of posting student photos or anything in school. I created a Facebook Photo Release Form and have parents sign it at the beginning of the year. Just remember to try not to post anything with personal info displayed. All of these sights can be used to can keep families informed about your day to day activities and provide a interactive forum for communicating. I'm an advocate for using social media as a classroom tool. It serves as a window to your classroom for the world to view. Embrace it and make it work for you, your parents will love it! Still not convinced? Read this article that gives you 100 Ways to Use Facebook in Your Classroom.
You can also try Remind it is another messenger tool for teachers to use to connect with parents easily via text messaging. I prefer the Class Dojo combo because parents are getting access to more information in one place. Think about how easy it will be to send out a good news text to all parents about something great your students are doing well. Did I mention you can even attach photos to your messages? Parents love to hear good news and teachers can be so busy that we it seems like we only have time to contact them for bad news. These text messaging tools are great and there are even more out there for you to try!
You can create your templates or find them on Teachers Pay Teachers. It's important to develop a schedule for how often you will send out your newsletter so that it becomes something parents will expect. Once a month, quarterly, weekly, whatever works best for you. If you teach in a high ESL area you may want to collaborate with someone so that your newsletter can be translated. Thank you so much for reading and your "teach away" is to remember that regular communication is key when establishing and maintaining a partnership with parents while bridging the gap between home and school!
Meet the Author
Tasia Fields is an educator and new blogger that resides and teaches outside of Chicago IL. She is single mother and a passionate teacher. She is the founder of Great Minds TEACH Alike. She has been teaching for 5 years and holds a Masters Degree in Education. Education is her passion and she truly enjoys collaborating and sharing her ideas and knowledge with teachers from across the world.