...establish a communication plan and share it with parents that includes how frequently you’ll respond to voicemail, email, etc. and what the expected turnaround time is for a response. Setting this parameter at the beginning of a year or semester will help in the long run.
...contact parents regularly with good news and information. This helps build a rapport with a family as you work with them throughout the year.
...communicate via writing/email as much as possible to leave yourself a paper trail.
...utilize the school district communication channels to send out information or post information as frequently as possible. The more information you get in the hands of students and parents, the less phone calls or information gathering requests you’ll receive.
...become friends with parents or students on social media channels (except maybe LinkedIn). This creates a potential for sharing too much personal information and exchanges that might cross the line of student-teacher or parent-teacher relationships.
…communicate using game platforms like Words with Friends or Candy Crush. Remember that your communication is a representation of yourself and the school. Avoid these types of scenarios for yourself.
...CC the entire school or all of the teachers when communicating with parents. Only include relevant and key individuals in your email correspondence.
...give out your personal cell phone number to have parents access you at all hours of the day. Separate your personal self from your work self in order to create a work-life balance that shows you’re available at certain times of the day/night.
Keep these in mind as you build a mutually beneficial and collaborative approach to educating children within your classroom. A successful school year works best with a partnership with the school/teacher and parent/student. Good communication is the key to success.