Parents Think You’re the Best Teacher in the World
How do you get considered to be the “Best Teacher in the World”?
What you need to keep in mind is that parents are a significant part of your classroom. Most parents want to know that their children are being taught and cared for by a teacher who is interested in their well-being. Being an honest, loving teacher who shows that he/she values each student is paramount to your relationship with parents. To achieve the title of “Best Teacher”, open communication will be what tips the scales.
Before the tech takeover of so many parts of our lives, teachers wrote notes; this is still important today, so please don’t discount notes as old fashioned. Those handwritten notes of praise are a tangible way to keep parents informed. In fact, many notes like this are kept for years as encouragement in times of stress. It doesn’t take long to hand-write a letter or fill out a little award certificate compared to the impact it will have on your students and parents.
Handwritten notes of concern can be a powerful way to communicate a problem. We are bombarded with technology messages all day long. A way to refocus our attention on a matter that needs a solution is a handwritten note. Whether it is a note in itself or a note on a graded assignment, I have had a good response from parents when I have chosen this method of communication.
Behaviour, Yes or No?
Choices for recording behaviour are plentiful, search Pinterest. There are clip charts, colour charts, weekly and monthly behaviour calendars and electronic recording methods. The teacher needs to evaluate what would work best in their classroom. In years past I have used various ways mentioned above. Sometimes a class doesn’t respond to one method, and you need to shift gears. Whatever you choose, parents appreciate the updates on their child’s progress and behaviour. Again, you are working your way to the “Best Teacher” title with communication.
Can You Hear Me?
Direct calls are another way to build a relationship with your parents. Yes, it does take time to make calls, and we know teachers are always short on time. But, the time invested in talking to a parent is invaluable. Calling about a behaviour, a concern, or praise builds a parent’s confidence in you. It shows that you care and want the best for the student.
Lastly, choices exist that allow you to use your phone, tablets, and computer to communicate and build that relationship. Some take more time than others but offer a variety of ways to communicate. Of course, there is always email. Some parents like to use this means of communication, but it does have its drawbacks. Many times parents do not check email on a consistent basis.
Other choices are Class Dojo, Bloomz, and Remind to name just three. If you choose Class Dojo, you can use this as a behaviour log and a way to send parents texts, videos, and photos. Remind is not for behaviour points, but is a great tool to keep parents in the loop. You can send and receive private texts without sharing your phone number, send classroom announcements, as well as, send photos of events.
Winning “Best Teacher” Award
Putting all kidding aside about this fictional award, if you:
1. communicate regularly using whatever method(s) you choose,
2. set the education bar high for your students and help them achieve that goal,
3. show respect,
4. are energetic and uplifting,
5. are honest with yourself and your students,
6. treat all your students with love (even the difficult ones) you will see that all of this makes a difference in the eyes of parents. Before you know it, you will be hearing how you are receiving the “Best Teacher in the World” accolade!
Bonnie is a 19 year veteran of teaching grades 2, 3, and 4 and is currently teaching Second at a public Title 1 school. She loves researching and implementing new ideas into her classroom which stretches her and the kids. She is also a goat rancher, she raises chickens and does mission work in Mexico.
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