Building an effective communication plan should be part of the school year planning process. Typically, when teachers are preparing for the first day or week, they treat a communication plan as something that will come together over time. A communication strategy should be carefully developed prior to the first day of school.
Communication with Parents:
You want your first contact with parents to be positive. You want to avoid having your first encounter be about their child’s disruptive misconduct in the classroom. Ideally, you want to be in touch with parents on a very positive note before the first day of school.
Next, you want to think about how you will communicate student progress with parents. Emails and hand-written notes are always winning moves. At Studer Education℠, we do a lot of work with collecting data regarding parents’ perceptions of the school and learning environment. We have found that student progress and getting feedback on that progress is something parents want on a consistent basis. In thinking about how you will communicate, it’s important to consider:
- How can I plan for constant and consistent progress communication for my students’ parents?
- What does my communication strategy look like with regard to contacting parents about their child’s behavior? How can I do this in a way that keeps them on my side, showing them I am a partner in ensuring their child has the best possible learning opportunity?
Communication with Students:
One-on-one communication with students is a big part of the learning process that tends to be overlooked. Students need regular progress feedback. Every teacher should be intentional about communicating with students about their strengths and weaknesses. Have a conversation with each student, to help them come up with a plan to strengthen some of their weaker spots. Never forget to tell them their strengths!
How will you make a routine of touching-base with students? Will you connect with two students per day? Five students per day? Either way, if you break this process into small chunks, you will ensure that every student has the opportunity to receive valuable feedback about progress.
You want to help keep students aware of both classroom and school-wide events. Classroom events are things such as quizzes, tests, projects, and field trips. School-wide events are things such as sporting and charity events.
It’s important to think about this communication plan early in the planning stages. How does this communication process look? How will those emails or hand-written notes be written to parents? What information will you give students when you have one-on-one sessions? Start thinking about this now, and you’ll be ready to start on a positive note that first day back.
Erica Callaway, TeacherReady®