Raising the quality of school-to-home communication

Posted on Friday, 3/29/2013 2:45 pm

Teachers' role in their students' lives does not have to end when the bell rings at the end of the school day. When instructors communicate with parents on a regular basis, they can provide mothers and fathers with useful information that can be used to enhance children's learning on nights and weekends. However, for this to occur, educators need to raise the bar on the quality of their communication with parents.

Here are a few ways educators can deliver curricular information to parents and not have to sacrifice quality for convenience:

Written communications
Parents are not known to have a lot of free time, especially if they also hold a regular job. As a result, it is not always convenient for mothers or fathers to take time out of their busy schedule and take a phone call from their children's teacher, or have an in-person meeting to discuss students' progress. This is where written communication can come in handy.

There are many ways for teachers to keep parents in the loop on what goes on in their children's classrooms. For example, instructors could send a letter and syllabus to students' parents that explains what they will be covering over the course of the academic year. This allows parents to plan activities that can enhance what their kids are learning at school. Monthly letters are also a good way to keep parents informed of the latest classroom developments, whether they are positive or negative. LD OnLine, a learning disabilities and ADHD resource website, suggests teachers send weekly work folders home with students every Friday. This provides parents with a chance to reinforce what their kids are learning at school at a time that is most convenient for them.

Digital communications 
As long as parents have access to the internet, teachers can use faculty software that keeps them connected with parents. One solution is Software Answers' GradeBook. Using this web-based product, teachers can provide parents with access to the online GradeBook so they can view students' grades and get a sense of how they are progressing academically.

When educators take advantage of this type of online solution, they are delivering vital information to parents that can be viewed at any time of day. It is a convenient way of keeping parents informed, without sacrificing the quality of the information being shared.

Quick communications
There may be times when there are more pressing issues to discuss regarding a student's progress in class. In these situations, waiting to send a monthly letter in the mail is not the best idea.

Instead, teachers should consider supplying parents with an email address they check on a frequent basis, or even their cellphone number for texting purposes. Of course, while both should only be used under very serious circumstances, it can comfort parents to know that their children's teachers are truly there for them when they need them the most.


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