Classroom websites and newsletters are great, but sometimes you need an extra quick way to share a last-minute reminder or an update with parents. Here are some handy parent communication tools to help you get the job done in a hurry.
For most last-minute correspondence, a quick email will do the trick. And many teachers also love the services Remind.com and Bloomz.net for easy parent communication. If you’re not familiar with these services, this post from We Are Teachers has a great explanation of both.
If you’re already using MailChimp to send your classroom newsletters, you should definitely check out their mobile app. Once you’ve added email addresses, the app makes it easy to send quick emails from your phone to individual parents, small groups, or the whole class. (If you’re NOT already using MailChimp to send awesome mobile-friendly, parent-friendly newsletters, you totally should be! Click over to find a tutorial and more information here.)
If you’re sending your reminders through email, remember the basics of good email communication:
- Be Brief. Deliver one important message, and stick to the point.
- Be Positive. Try to go with do statements, rather than don’t statements. For example, “Remember your library books” is usually better received than “Don’t forget your library books.”
- Be Consistent. Try to use the same format for email reminders. If you send consistent reminders, try to send them at the same time. That way parents will get used to the format, and they might be less likely to miss them.
- Use Clear Language. Make your communication with parents as accessible as possible by using language that all parents can understand. Avoid educational jargon, unless you clearly define what you’re talking about.
- Use Subject Lines Wisely. I’m not going to lie. My inbox is out of control and I sometimes miss things. I know I’m not alone, so it’s best to use specific, important information in the subject line whenever possible. For example, “Field Trip Tomorrow” might be more likely to catch the reader’s eye than “Reminder.”
(It’s also a good idea to proofread, because…duh! -But you already knew that one.)
Want to remind parents to send a sack lunch for the field trip tomorrow? Or remind them about the book fair, or early dismissal, or library day? Or thank volunteers for their help in the classroom? Use these versatile reminder notes for super-quick parent communication!
These parent reminders come in a printable style, which you can attach to folders, backpacks and foreheads. (Kidding about the foreheads. Sort of!) This resource also includes a set of image files. You can attach the reminder images to emails, share them on social media, post them on your classroom website, or send them in messages using Remind.com, Bloomz.net, MailChimp, or any other tool that allows you to attach an image. They’re a simple and eye-catching way to get parents’ attention.
As a parent myself, I really appreciate the reminders, but my FAVORITE kind of out-of-the-blue message to receive is happy news from my sons’ teachers. Most teachers have a system to let parents know when they catch their child being good, also known as happy mail. Next time you want to let parents know their child was particularly helpful, responsible, or kind, send a quick and cheerful message by attaching an image from this badge set to share the good news. (Printable versions of these badges are also included in the pack. -Great for rewards during the year, or at the end of the year.)