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.