Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Parent Communication has Never Been Easier, Thanks to Technology Tools for Teachers!

When I was teaching 5th grade I had many parents who were very interested in supporting their kids in school, but with demanding schedules and 30 students it was difficult to make individual contact with every parent regularly.  I found one year that a successful tactic in coordinating our efforts was to send a weekly email that outlined the major plans for the week, project deadlines and expectations, and supplemental resources that supported the classroom lessons and activities.  I was quite impressed with the quality of work I received from these students and how happy the parents were with being able to know what was happening in the classroom without having to dig it out of their children at dinner.

I found that I was a much more effective educator because I was no longer working alone.  My students' parents had more information and could ask more specific questions to target growth in their children.  The greatest thing about this development was how easy it was to do.  I simply used Outlook Contact Groups to easily email everyone at once.  The unpleasant duty of chasing down work was all but gone because parents were informed and reminded of deadlines.  They were not reliant on their children to let them know these important dates.  The parents were my allies in our common mission to help make the students successful.

I made sure to collect the emails of all of my parents at the beginning of the year and enter them as contacts in Outlook.  Skyward is a great resource in our district because the parents enter their emails when they enroll the students each year.  For about 30 minutes of work at the start, I was able to become a stronger teacher for the entire year.

For a Tutorial on how to create these contact groups click here.

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