The 2020-2021 school year is going to be a wild ride for teachers, students, and parents! Teachers often use the summer months to prepare for the following year, but with so many unknowns this year, it’s hard to know where to start. Whether you teach in person, or in a hybrid or distance learning model, we do know two things: 1. Strong home communication will be critical this year! and 2. Teachers are going to be busier than ever!
If you want to feel confident about your parent communication system AND spend minimal time on it during the busy school year, try to carve out a little time this summer to do some home communication prep.
The goal: A simple and effective home communication system that parents and teachers both love. Teachers need home communication to be quick to create, and they really want parents to read it. Parents need to easily access important information, and they want to feel empowered. (Not overwhelmed.) During distance learning, everyone is busy and stressed, so clear, concise, and sensitive communication is even more important than ever. How to make this happen? ACE Home Communication!
ACE Home Communication is…
- Accessible: Easy-to-read, organized and concise, mobile-friendly, language translation options available.
- Connecting: Connect parents with the information they need, be sensitive to parents’ needs and struggles, communicate that you value them and their child.
- Empowering: Give parents the tools they need to support learning at home. Keep it positive and simple to avoid overwhelm.
Keep the ACE acronym in mind whenever you communicate with parents and caregivers. It’s an easy way to help you stay focused and make sure your communication is effective!
Now, If you have time this summer, here are a few sanity-saving home communication tasks to get out of the way before school starts:
- Plan for consistent communication. Example: weekly or monthly newsletters, office hours during distance learning. Also plan for occasional communication. Examples: Happy updates about individual students, special reminder notes, short how-to videos or audio clips for parents, video check-ins, etc.
- Create newsletter and email templates in advance. (PowerPoint or Word, Google Slides, Gmail, MailChimp)
- When creating templates, include elements that make your communication accessible, connecting, and empowering, so you don’t have to think much about it during the year.
I know you have many tasks your teacher “to-do” list right now, but if you can possibly squeeze this in, you’ll be so glad you did! Strong partnerships between home and school lead to better outcomes for students. And honestly, when parents are involved in a productive way, it can make your job so much easier! A win-win!
Ok! Time to set up your home communication system! This year might be crazy, but at least your parent communication will be under control!
Need newsletter templates to help you get started? These newsletter templates are ready-to-use in PowerPoint, Google Slides, and MailChimp, and they come in 20 styles.
You can also find ideas for digital parent reminders, student reward images to use in “happy mail” to parents, and more resources for parent communication in my TpT store.