Thursday, November 8, 2012
I've been thinking a lot about parent communication today. Do I do enough? Am I doing it the right way? I try to be consistent with calling home to at least two parents per week. This doesn't mean that I'm always calling about something negative. I really try to call home when one of my little ones does something good....or maybe the ones that are always behaving and always trying hard. I seem to forget to give them praise as much because they are always good and I just expect it. So I try to remember to give their parents a call once and a while to let them know how great their kid is.
I also have a take home folder that goes home everyday. It is their green folder. Inside on the left side is a calendar with important dates written in. They also draw their color in the calendar each day so that their parents know how they behaved in school that day. We do color changes from the start of the year, so the parents already know what their colors mean. (green = great, yellow = warning, red=time out, blue = office) I do levels within my colors...because I would never go from a time out to the office. It takes a lot for a kid to get to blue. Haha...not saying that it never happens. I definitely have had some repeat offenders that land on blue more often then any kid ever should. Those are my unique little friends that will nevvvver leave my memory because they were just sooooooo unique and well...unforgettable.
And of course, I write notes home all the time for all sorts of things. I get notes every day from my parents for pick up changes, questions about homework, excuse notes....etc.. I am thinking that in the future I will create a system within my folder for parents to have a generic form to fill out if they want to send me a note. I'll be honest, I've gotten notes on a napkin before. haha. Anyone else? At least it wasn't used.
Last, I tried to be a newsletter sender for two years now and it just never seemed to happen. I have the template and everything. It should have happened, but I never found the time. I was always like...ohhh I'll get to it. And did I? Nope. Soooo let's pretend that I did just to make me feel better. (and maybe I will in the future)
I think that the most important thing I've learned to do while keeping an open line of communication is to cover my own behind. I log every form of communication that I have into a binder. I keep a log of phone calls I make, at what time, who I spoke to, and a little blurb about what we talked about. I also keep copies of every note that is sent in to me, as well as all the notes that I send home. The carbon copy notepad is a life saver. There would never be time for me to run to a copier before the end of the day and then send the note home. All I have to do is write the note and then it copies it for me onto the page behind (just like a checkbook) - AH-MAZ-ING. Also, during parent teacher conferences, I record a bunch of blurbs about what was said so that I can look back in case I need to refresh my memory about what was discussed. I also print out all my parent emails and keep them in the binder. If I could suggest one thing for parent communication, it would be keep a running record of all your parent conversations. It is important to do for both parties involved.