At the start of the school year, I sent home a parent contact sheet. On the sheet parents filled out their phone numbers. They were also asked to select which way they prefer to be contacted (i.e. phone call, text, email, letter). Many indicated that they preferred phone calls and text messages. In an effort to maintain contact with parents, I am rolling out two initiatives: bi-monthly phone calling schedule and weekly mass texts.
Since my school is departmentalized, I teach two third grade classes (total of 38 students). In an effort to split communication with both classes equally, I developed a phone calling schedule. One week, I call families from Catholic (my homeroom). The next week, I call families of my scholars in Georgetown. Each day, I call 4-5 scholars and update parents on their child’s progress. This schedule ensures that I am getting a chance to talk to all students on a consistent basis.
In addition to phone calls, many stated that they wanted to be contacted via text. Last night, I set up a text messaging group for both classes. Weekly, I will send out mass text messages to celebrate whole class successes and send out important reminders. Since I’m not sure of the families’ text messaging plans (I do not want to take up too many texts per month), I will keep the texts short and sweet. My first mass text is below:
Hi everyone! I just created a text group for third grade. Reminder: Back to School Night is tomorrow at 6:30pm. Also, remember to sign your child’s homework. Take care, Ms. Bunting
I look forward to texting parents this year in a way to increase positive communication.
Since educators are strapped with time, creating a parent communication plan is key to ensuring consistent communication with all scholars. I believe my phone calling schedule and weekly mass texts our two ways to help parents to feel engaged and connected.