Friday, July 17, 2015

You've Got Mail!

Tap. Tap. Tap. Is this thing still on? This is just life right now but I am getting into the swing of things and wanted to drop in and say HELLO again. With the school year around the corner we are all in full swing lamination mode, prepping, and getting back into our old classrooms. The 4th of July is a signal that school is slowly but surely coming toward us. It's exciting! I love fresh starts!

Not only am I checking in to see if anyone reads this blog (hi mom! hi best friends!) but also to ask a question. Many of us send emails or newsletters out--it's a great way to keep parents informed but sometimes I feel that as the school year goes on those emails don't get read at all. So what do you do to make sure the parents are actually reading the emails and newsletters? Have you had that "Bueller" moments where it's like...did you get my email?

Now, I completely understand that parents have busy lives and the email quickly gets archived or is ignored because of so much going on in life. Some of my parents have multiple kids and can't keep up with the emails--their inboxes are inundated. I try to really send information packed emails and communicate that with parents at the beginning of the year. I'm all about quick and efficient emails but I don't want to email so often that parents dismiss the content completely because they might miss something important.

One trick I have learned is within the contents of the email I write to parents to place a star, or smiley face, or write down a random fact about themselves inside their child's planner (another one of our communication tools) for some simple reward for their child. I also tell my students that their parents need to read their email--because after all, aren't persistent 11 year olds a really good shot at making sure something gets done? YES. They are! They never let me forget the extra two minutes of recess I owe them. Every minute counts. Back to the reward...The rewards range from a sweet treat to a homework pass to whatever I fancy--but there is a reward of some kind. And it works! I love the results that I get and I genuinely feel that my parents are in the loop--which is always a good thing--and they know that the lines of communication are open!

Here's an example of one of my emails:
(please forgive any and all typos and grammatical errors--I am so far from perfect and need all the help I can get ha!)

So what is it that you do? I have a back and forth planner that parents initial with homework assignments and behavior records. Do you email? Does anyone use google forms? I am so curious and want to hear what my friends are doing! Is paper the way to go? Emails? Super techy and teachy people that use fancy apps, is there anything out there? Let me know!


-Beth

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