The beginning of the year is full of many things, but the one thing that comes to mind for me is PAPERWORK! All of those emergency cards, contact information for mom/dad/legal guardian, email addresses, phone numbers, allergies, things the teacher should know, students’ likes and dislikes, etc.
And the majority of it exists simply so we know the best way to contact the parents throughout the year. Really, that’s all we’re looking for. Can we text you? Email you? Call you? Or should we just send a note home? Which do you prefer? Help us out, parents! Can you please write your email address and/or phone numbers a little more clearly so that I do not enter it incorrectly in my contacts (like I inevitably do every year)? It’s all so overwhelming….,but if done correctly, saves so much time throughout the year.
Well, because I work at a year round school, my “beginning of the year” is now two months behind me–thank goodness! I thought I might share some of the beginning of the year forms that I use in hopes of lessening the burden for some of you out there just beginning your school year.
These two forms are copied back to back and given to the students on the first day of school. Parents complete only the student information sheet, as the parent contact log is used as needed throughout the year. I hole-punch these forms and keep them in one small binder. This way I can easily access a parent’s contact information and quickly turn over the paper to document the date, time, and reason for the contact. Not only is it handy, but I feel it’s important to document everything as an educator. You never know when you might need it.
This sheet was created to move myself and colleagues into the 21st century. Parents are asked if it is ok to text them and to provide the best number to do so. It’s been amazing! You would not believe the power you hold when a student knows that you can text their parent(s) right before their eyes. And now that I have a google voice number— (I’ll discuss that at in future post), the possibilities are endless. I have had such positive feedback from the parents and I feel that my parent/teacher communication has become more effective.
And finally, this form was created for all the email addresses that I CANNOT READ! It never fails. Every year, I take the time to input all my parents’ email addresses into one group contact. (This way I can send out email blasts to everyone at one time.) Well, every year I enter addresses incorrectly because I cannot read certain email addresses. Is that the letter “i” or the number one…? I mean, really, no matter how many time you write, “Print neatly please.”
Anyway, after I send out my test email. The parents’ email addresses that come back “failed to deliver” receive one of these notices. It’s the first year that I was able to correct all my mistakes! Whoooohoooo!
2 thoughts on “Contacting Parents…Help!”
How do you text them without giving your own personal number out? Or do you use your own number? Thank you!!
Hello! Great question. For the past couple of years, I have opened a google voice account (which assigns you a phone number for your phone). It’s free and has the ability to text and call, has an app for your phone (super useful), and is also connected to my gmail account. So I can leave my gmail open and text parents just by typing on my keyboard. It’s been really helpful.