For my blog post this week I will be discussing how we as teachers can engage parents in our classroom community. Throughout my college classes I have learned that parent involvement is extremely important to a child’s learning success. Being in my internship this fall has proved how parent involvement is key in a classroom. In the past couple weeks I have learned many ways to incorporate parents in the classroom by using technology.
One technological way to engage parents in the classroom is the use of email. My cooperating teachers use email to communicate with parents and it seems to work fairly well. Using email to communicate with parents allows teachers to share information with parents about the classroom. I feel that email is a great way to connect with parents because there are some situations where contacting the parent by phone may not always be effective. Email is a quick way to communicate with parents about a student’s academic performance, behavior, upcoming events, etc. In my educational courses at Lenoir-Rhyne I have learned how effective it is to contact parents about a student’s strengths in the classroom. All parents want to hear positive things about their child and it’s important for teachers to use email to communicate their child’s strengths in the classroom. Relaying this information to parents allows them to see how you want the best for their child. I think this is important to remember as we begin our teaching careers. I plan to use email to contact parents in my future classroom.
Another technological way to incorporate parents in the classroom is the use of weekly newsletters. My cooperating teacher is a great model for this use of technology. Each week she sends out an online newsletter to inform parents of weekly information. The newsletter informs parents on subjects/content covered that week, upcoming projects/field trips, and events in the classroom. I love the idea of connecting with parents using a weekly newsletter. If parents are more aware of their students’ success in the classroom, they are more likely to support their child. I have found this to be extremely effective in the classroom and I feel that this is a great way to reach out to parents and include them in the classroom community. Also, my cooperating teacher often asks for volunteers during certain block times and the newsletter allows her to ask for that volunteer help. Below is a link to my cooperating teacher’s newsletter for the week of October 20th, 2014.
(Jessica Esposito, 4th Grade, Blackburn Elementary School)
Smore (https://www.smore.com/) is a great website to create newsletters. This site allows teachers to produce a flyer that can be accessed online or printed to send home with students. In my opinion, sending the flyer via email is more effective over sending the newsletter home with students. Using weekly newsletters engages parents in their child’s learning by including them as part of the classroom community.
Although many schools have parent involvement on their school intervention plans, I feel there are ways to increase involvement in the classroom. Email and newsletters are just a couple of ways to use technology to engage parents. I feel that these methods will push for a better community in the classroom by allowing parents to be a part of their child’s learning success.