I’m very excited to join other fabulous 5th grade teachers to offer this Back to School Blog Hop! We wanted to do this hop to provide you with some back to school tips to start the year off right. We also wanted to do a little giveaway to help stock you up for the upcoming year! So hop around, get some great advice, some fabulous resources, and enter to win our terrific giveaway!
Here's a few tips for a successful year and a couple of resources to get you going!
Communicate with parents often. As teachers, we have a zillion things going on and sometimes the last thing that we want to do is sit and make phone calls after school. But we don't want to avoid parents or make fall conferences the first time we communicate, especially if you have concerns. On the other hand, do not make your only contacts about concerns. I make time once per week for positive phone calls or emails, where I contact each parent once a month to share something positive that their child has done. Parents love it, but students might love it even more because they are usually rewarded in some way when their parents receive that call. I keep a chart of parent names and the times that I call/email for positive behavior separate from my contact log for behavior/concerns. That way I know that I've had at least one positive contact with each parent once a month. It does take some time out of your day, but it also makes a huge difference.
Now, just to piggyback off of that for a minute, I highly suggest phone calls for any concerns. You do not want to say something in an email that could come back to haunt you. Email can easily be misinterpreted and used against you. The best communication is a conference, but since that's not always possible a phone conversation will accomplish a lot more than an email and spare you the possibility of being misunderstood.
You can download a generic log that I made below. I am also including a parent communication information sheet that I ask parents to fill out on back to school night. I keep them in a binder together so that everything I need to make contact is in one place.