#2ndaryELA Chat Summary: Parent Communication

September 03, 2015

Middle School and High School English Language Arts teachers discuss parent communication best practices for positive and negative academics/behaviors, technology tips, and ways to involve students in the process. Join secondary English Language Arts teachers Tuesday evenings at 8 pm EST on Twitter.

Last week's #2ndaryELA Twitter chat was all about parent communication in the ELA classroom. Middle and High School English Language Arts discussed parent communication best practices for positive and negative academics/behaviors, technology tips, and ways to involve students in the process. The highlights are below.

Tips for Communicating the Positives:
*Positive praise is appreciated at all grade levels.
*Offer positive calls home as an incentive.
*Tell the student about the call, send a note home with them, or call with them there so they get the good vibes too.
*At the beginning of this year, print address labels for each kid. Every week find 5 kids to send home a positive postcard.
*Positive & frequent. Parents want to know what's going on & support teachers when they feel involved thru updates.

Tips for Communicating the Negatives:
*Document everything! Take notes during calls, save emails, copy notes from home. Always frame as doing what's best for students.
*Be ahead of the curve! Make contact before it becomes a problem, and document all attempted contacts.
*Make contact with parents as close to day 1 as possible so you have an established a relationship before you make that negative call.
*It needs to be immediate. Doesn't help when it is a few days after the fact!
*For academics, don't call the last week unless you want all the work turned in the last week.
*Offer some strategies to help with the issue. Some parents don't know how to approach the problem.

Let Technology Help You: 
*Mailchimp can be used for sending weekly emails
*Twitter can be used for praising students
*Instagram can be used for sharing photos of great work
*Remind can be used for reminders about homework, upcoming due dates or events
*Program all parents' phone numbers in your cell phone so you can call from anywhere, and don't have to look up the number.
*Create groups in your email.
*Use a Google form to input parent contacts and create a spreadsheet.

Getting Students Involved:
* Let the students know ahead of time if possible. No one likes surprises.
*Have the students call their parent(s) with you sitting right next to them (after class)
*Use students' homework planner as a place for communication between home & school. so students see what is being written.

For more ideas on building parent relationships at the start of the school year:

Hope you'll join us next week, Tuesday September 9th at 8pm EST to discuss using nonfiction in the ELA classroom. The questions for next week's chat will be posted here on Sunday. If you missed last Tuesday night's chat, scroll down and read the whole thing below.

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  1. Giving the student the heads up about the communication is a great tip! I can't believe I hadn't heard that one yet...thanks for sharing!!!!