Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Teacher Tip #2: Make positive phone calls during the first week

The first week of school is extremely tiring and the last thing you probably want to do after teaching all day is spend an afternoon/evening calling parents.  However, this simple gesture can make a world of difference.  It means a lot to parents when you take the time to share good news with them.  Just call each family at some point during the first week to let them know how much you enjoy their child (or at least, how excited you are about the school year).  Ask about their child’s first day (or how their week is going), and inform them that you are available if they ever have any questions or concerns.  It’s also good if you can share something specific that their child said or did that was positive; this is really encouraging since some parents only hear from the teacher if the child misbehaves.

I admit, I haven’t always done this—it wasn’t until after my 2nd year of teaching that I realized how important positive parent/teacher contact is.  You want to establish good rapport with parents and really work as a team. 
If, for whatever reason, you can’t call a parent, email works too; it’s just not as personal.  This year, I’ve seen most of my parents face-to-face so I’ve been able to speak with them personally.  If you make positive contact with parents within the first week of school, it usually makes the year run much smoother.     

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