3 Quick Tips to Start School Virtually or in your Classroom

Home and School communication is so important. Getting parents on your side and working together as a team can enhance all aspects of a child's education. One thing to remember is parents know their child better than we do in that they have been their child's teacher from the day their child was born. 
I always tell parents that they are the most important person in their child's life.  

So, with that being said, use parent's input about their child and work together!

Although this year may look a bit different. These 3 tips are ways that you can include parents in their child's education from day one and build positive relationships with students and their parents. 

Whether you are teaching virtually or in person this year, the following tips to work side by side with parents, will definitely promote and enhance student progress.

Start the Year off with a Positive Phone Call 

Try to make a positive phone call home
within the first 2 weeks of school. I know that this can be a difficult task with all that needs to be done, but this WILL make a difference! 

Think of yourself as a parent: you are nervous about your child going to first grade and just think how "little Jimmy or Doris" feels. 

Receiving a positive phone call and I emphasize phone call NOT e-mail can set the tone for the rest of the year and it will make it much easier when you have to call for other reasons. 

I also call to EACH child the night before the first day of school to say "hi" and welcome them to my classroom. I tell each child how excited I am to have him or her in my classroom and to make sure they bring their smile to school tomorrow! 

Say hello and express your excitement about having him or her in your classroom.  My video that I have posted below is an example of a phone call you might make if you are teaching in person, but it can easily be changed to represent a virtually classroom. Making each student in your class feel excited to come to your classroom, no matter where you are teaching, begins to build important connections with each child.  


Invite Parents into your Classroom or Virtual Classroom

If it is permitted in your district, invite parents to come into your classroom and share a favorite book or chat about their job or occupation. Our School always had a Guest Reader on Friday afternoons. I changed the day and time for working parents if necessary. Teaching Virtually? Invite a parent to read to your class through Zoom or any other platforms you may be using. Maybe ask parents to sit in on your lesson to see what his or her child is learning that week. 

Keep Parents in the Loop

Send a Monthly or Weekly Newsletter home sharing with parents special news and announcements that are special to your classroom. You can send these notes and announcements on your class homework sheet through your website or through google with a link to read these important messages. Attaching these to an e-mail works too! 

I hope these quick and easy ideas bring a bit of sunshine to start your year! Enjoy! 

Try your best to be your best this year even with the struggles we are all facing this school year!

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  1. Thank you so much for these tips!!!They are so on point and they will prove very helpful!!!

  2. These are great ideas. If something comes up later in the year, the work you put in at the beginning to help the parents know what is going on and able to trust you as a person and a teacher pays off in spades. Thank you for the list and the resources.

  3. You always have such great tips! Thanks for sharing! :)

  4. I agree that parent-teacher communication is key to a successful school year. I believe in this whole-heartedly. I also think that it is important to allow parents to get to know you. I share small amounts of personal information (like about my own children or about an activity that I might have done) with my parents. This shows that you are "human"/relatable and that you understand where they are coming from, or what that might also be experiencing.

    1. I agree...I also share about myself and my own children to the class and parents especially during conferences! Thanks for the additional idea!!!

  5. I've been very fortunate to work in school in which parents are very involved, and I rely on them to help me in the classroom. Sometimes this backfires, and I've had to suggest that parents spend less time in the classroom. That's always hard, but generally, they understand that we're all working for the best interest of the kiddos.

    1. If I have a child who does not work well when his mom or dad is present, then I will have the parents participate in some other capacity...I agree it is so important to make sure the parents understand that we are all working together for the best interest of their child! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Teachers often associate parental contact with negative incidents or as a punitive measure. My recent school made a shift in parental contact to include cold-calling to inform parents of something students had made an improvement in (particularly students with high office referrals) plus sending out weekly letters for nominated students across the school in each class for a principal/deputy principal commendation. Even with being in a high school setting, the school has had very positive feedback and being a rural community the principal is often told by parents about them being proud of their kids for the letter they received, when he is out and about in town!

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    Make sure this location is silent or has a closed door. When students are working, communicating to their teachers, tutoring, completing DBAs, or taking an exam, they have privacy.

    Allow space for a workstation or table, but include a variety of seating options. This can be a relaxing reading spot or a welcome change of pace throughout the academic day. When a student is reading, painting, or using a gadget between courses or after a long exam, beanbags, hammock seats, shaggy carpets, and large pillows might help them rest and unwind.

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  12. These are some amazing ideas. When something comes up later in the year, that work users put in at the start that the parents are informed and that they can trust you as a person for travel agency for dubai and a teacher pays off handsomely. Thank you for the list and the resources.