Tips for Parent Communication (For In School & Distance Learning)
Be proactive about fostering a positive relationship
- Case management letter- Prior to school starting (or ASAP if you haven’t already), send parents a case management letter that outlines that you will be doing as case manager for their child. This allows you to be clear about your role as the Sped Teacher/Case Manager.
- Introduce yourself- For new students to my caseload, it’s a great idea to introduce yourself via email or phone call. Parents like to know about who is teaching their child and want to trust you will do what’s best for them as your student.
- Gaining the trust of parents is extremely important and a big part of having a successful school year. Do your best to foster a positive and open relationship.
Invite parents for a meeting or phone conversation before the school year begins
- Find out what their goals are for their child this school year. This allows you to get on the same page as parents and understand them better and what they want for their child.
- Ask about specific details that they’d like to share about their child (favorite activities, how they learn best, specific strategies they use, etc.)
- You can send home an interest inventory to parents in the beginning of the year that can help provide specific information about their child.
Keep Open Communication
- Keep in contact – Make it a point to have open communication with parents. Try to keep in contact when it’s possible for you to do so. Parents appreciate this and a little goes a long way.
- Daily reports if applicable to your classroom. If you’re in a classroom where it’s possible to jot down a little note in an assignment notebook or send a little email, you can do that. It does not need to be long, but especially for our nonverbal students, this can help parents be in the loop about daily happenings at school.
- Weekly note/email- This is more manageable for most of us teachers. A daily note is only necessary with certain students in certain environments. Weekly notes/emails can also keep parents informed if you need to share anything.
- Random emails of positive things that happened that day. Little notes like this can go a long way and parents appreciate hearing about their child’s successes!
Be Available/Open Door Policy
- During distance learning, try to set up short online conference times via Zoom, Google etc. to meet with parents and check in.
- Have designated office hours (make sure you have a start and stop time) where parents can pop in if they have questions about anything. Be sure they know this is NOT a time for individual parent teacher conferences.