As obvious as it may sound, communication with parents is one of the most relevant factors influencing children’s success at school. We all know that. But what does it mean to contact parents? Do we really reach parents in the correct way? Are beginning teachers prepared to contact parents and deliver accurate information about their subject?
Well, one of the things a teacher should do at school is to contact parents the first day of class. Schools have different policies about this topic and it is important that new teachers ask about these procedures and regulations. In spite of this, before you get caught up in the many daily tasks a teacher has, take time to write an introductory letter to the parents of your students. This will be the first impression you make. It has to show your professionalism.
What questions could a parent have? As a mother and a teacher, I have come up with a list of them, you may add some more:
- Is this teacher enthusiastic about teaching?
- Will she/he have high expectations for my child?
- What does my child have to do to be successful in his/her class?
- How can I help my child to be successful? (this is a relevant question when the parents do not know a foreign language and it becomes difficult to them to understand the content you are teaching)
- How will I know about my child’s progress?
- What kind of assessments will this teacher provide?
- What weights will each evaluation have and how will be the final grade calculated?
- etc. (you can add other questions here)
In your letter to parents, answer all the questions in a simple and appropriate language. Be direct, brief and consistent. Follow these steps:
- Before printing copies of your letter, ask a member of the administration of the school to read it.
- Make sure your letter does not have any grammatical error. If it has grammatical or typing errors, parents will think that you are not professional enough or careless.
- If it is possible, include an email or the school number if they need to contact you. You can also provide a time in the week where they can ask for an appointment to talk to you.
- Distribute the letter to the students at the end of each class the FIRST day of school and emphasize that it should be signed and turned in to you the next class.
Finally, make your letter as inviting and helpful as possible. If you need help writing the introductory letter, click HERE or go to the RESOURCES page to find a sample letter.