While it can sometimes be a challenge to interact with parents and encourage involvement, all parents want to know what their children are doing in school and how they can help their children succeed. Email, social media, and the Internet in general have made it easier for teachers to communicate with parents, and it’s important to take advantage of any opportunity to share classroom news and happenings directly with parents.
A great way to communicate with parents is through a newsletter. You can create a template on the computer to reuse each week, and email it to parents. If a parent has expressed a preference for paper communication, you can print a copy. Here are some suggestions for creating a classroom newsletter.
First Newsletter of the Year
In the first newsletter you send to parents, you should give detailed information about your classroom policies and expectations. Tell parents exactly how you discipline students, how you give consequences or rewards, and what the expectations of behavior and classroom procedure are. You may want to discuss your teaching style and give an overview of subjects that will be covered throughout the year and events that will be held. Provide your contact information, and encourage parents to communicate with you throughout the year.
Your newsletter does not have to be fancy, but it should be consistent. A good frequency is a weekly newsletter. If this isn’t possible for you, try to send a newsletter once every two weeks. In each issue, give an overview of what students will be learning that week in their different subjects. You don’t have to go into precise detail, but give parents a general idea of topics.
Assignments and Exams
Another section of your newsletter can contain due dates for assignments, and dates of quizzes or tests. It’s important that parents know when projects and assignments are due so that they can help students complete them on time. Knowledge of tests and quizzes will help parents know what and when they should help their students study.
A great idea for a parent newsletter is a section that offers advice on how parents can help reinforce classroom lessons at home. Suggest easy activities that parents and children can do together, which will encourage learning as well as bonding.
Parent Wish List
Many parents want to help out, but they don’t know how. In your newsletter, make a “wish list” for parents. Include any supplies that you would like to be donated for upcoming events or projects, and also include calls for parent volunteers if necessary.
An announcements section can mention anything that’s not covered in the previous sections, such as a mention of students’ upcoming birthdays, reminders about future school events or holiday celebrations, and any other important school or classroom announcements. You may also consider recognizing special classroom achievements or praise for the class in general.
Lauren Williams is a journalist and avid reader. She enjoys writing about anything related to education and volunteers at the local library.