Communicating with Parents: The First Phone Call Home
Home and School communication is SO important for the success of your students and yourself as their teacher - no matter what grade level you teach. There are TONS of ways that you can communicate positively with the parents of your students. Over the next few posts, I’m going to highlight some ways that you build this oh-so-vital relationship.
Call each parent within the first two weeks of school, to introduce yourself.
Ideally, this would be done before school beings. I know some teachers send out postcards or notes, but I prefer the phone call. It is time consuming. However it is hands down, the “best spent time” of my first month of school. It breaks the ice. Students know early on that you can and will contact their parents for any reason – you have their number and aren’t afraid to use it! Hey, I teach grade seven and most of the students are physically bigger than my 5′ self. I need to threaten them with what I can! Just kidding…for the most part!
You want your first contact with home to be a positive one. The longer you leave making that contact, the more likely it is that someone will do something to get a not-so-nice phone call home and then you’re stuck with that first contact being a “this is what your child did” phone call. Avoid that!
The phone calls are generally less than five minutes long. I introduce myself, let them know that I’m thrilled to have ___in my class and ask them if there’s anything I should know right off, that’ll help me to be more successful with their child. What parent could argue with that? I let them know about Meet the Creature Night (whoops, Freudian slip) and anything else that I want them to know right away. That’s it! 5 calls a night, and I’m done within two weeks.
When I taught 4 different groups, a couple of years ago, it was a challenge and took me about a month – but I still maintain that it was worth the time.
How do you make that first contact with home?