Tips to End the Year with Strong Parent-Teacher Communication
by Kim Webb, on Apr 6, 2021 10:09:04 AM
It’s the beginning of April, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel after one of the most demanding, stressful, and often unpredictable school years ever. Yet, this is not the time to par down on parent-teacher communication.
We’ve all heard the phrase “there’s no tired like end of the school year tired”. There is so much truth to this statement and this year, teaching during a global pandemic, adds a new level of exhaustion like we’ve never seen before. However, the end of the school year is NOT the time to let parent-teacher communication slide. Remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint, and we need to finish the school year with just as much parent-teacher communication as the beginning of the year.
The great thing about parent-teacher communication at the end of the school year is that the families know you now. Most parents and families are familiar with your classroom routines, expectations, and procedures and hopefully they also know your personality, writing style, and sense of humor by now as well. You’ve been using Bloomz for months now and families know the ins and outs of how best to communicate with you. This means that you can streamline your communication to families while still maintaining that strong relationship you’ve cultivated throughout the school year.
Here are some tips for how to end the year with strong parent-teacher communication.
- Be short, sweet, and succinct- keep your posts short, sweet, and to the point. At this time in the year, lengthy elaboration often isn’t needed since parents are familiar with many of your classroom routines and procedures. If you are giving a basic update on what you are doing in class, keep it just that, basic.
- Keep it catchy- I have a thing for alliteration and fun phrases and I use this to my advantage in my Bloomz posts. I often title my posts catchy phrases like “Monday Memos”, “Tuesday Tidbits”, “Thursday Thoughts”, and “Friday Fun”. I also use one on Wednesday’s that is tailored to my last name, “Mrs. Webb’s Weekly Wonderings” or “Mrs. Webb’s Weekly WOWS”. These are posts that I do somewhat frequently and families generally know what to expect from these posts.
- Share the fun- The end of the year is often filled with many fun and exciting activities. Although this might look different this year due to Covid 19 guidelines, I know educators are finding new and unique ways to incorporate the fun in our classrooms every day. So share this fun with the families! Did you do an awesome science experiment outside on the first warm day of spring? Take some pictures and share a quick snapshot of the day. Families will appreciate seeing the enjoyment that their children are having and knowing that their children are making wonderful memories to end the school year.
- Let your photos and videos do the “talking”- One of the great things about Bloomz is the ability to share photos and videos with families. Now is the perfect time of year to let your photos and videos speak for themselves. Give a quick synopsis of what you are posting and then attach some great photos and videos of the experiences. They say “a picture is worth a thousand words” for a reason, right?
- Utilize the schedule feature- This has quickly become one of my favorite features of the Bloomz app, the schedule feature. We all know how bogged down we can get at the end of the school year with extras responsibilities so using the schedule feature can help me check one thing off my to-do list while I’ve got the time. It also gives me peace of mind that my parent-teacher communication is set for the day or week. If you’re not sure how to use the schedule feature, check out this previous Bloomz blog post for tips.
- Work as a team- I am part of a fantastic team of 5 third grade teachers and we all use Bloomz. When we know we have something coming up as a whole grade level, we will often share the workload of creating a Bloomz post. There are many different ways to do this, you could type up the post in a Word document, Google docs, an email, or simply type it on Bloomz and then copy the post for your team. This has really helped our team in many ways. Not only is it less work for us, but it also ensures that families across the grade level are getting the same information from each teacher.
- It’s not over, until it’s over– Although many things in our classrooms start winding down as the end of the school year approaches, parent-teacher communication should not be one of them. I make sure to post on Bloomz on the last day of school, usually it’s something sappy and sentimental with pictures to match. You could give suggestions of things families can do over the summer, say how much you will miss them, and wish everyone a wonderful summer. I want students, parents, and families to know how much they have all meant to me throughout the school year and leave them with a lasting sentiment from our classroom.
- Use lists- See what I did there? Ha ha! Lists are a great way for someone to see the most important points that you are emphasizing. You can use a simple list with no extras or like this post, you can add extra information that expands on your topics. Either way, using lists is something most teachers do on a daily basis, so why not use this strategy to make your parent-teacher communication stronger?
I hope that you were able to find some helpful tips for ending the school year with strong parent-teacher communication. We’re almost there, the finish line is in sight but remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint so keep up those great things you do in the classroom right up until the end.
And after that, enjoy a wonderful, relaxing, well-earned summer vacation!