Taking Time To Talk

When I found out that I was officially moving to Grade 6, a colleague of mine asked me if I would continue with my regular weekly phone calls. I paused for a minute. I wasn’t sure what to do.

For the past 11 years, I’ve tried to call all of my parents every week or every couple of weeks. Yes, I usually called with a purpose (i.e., to tell about an upcoming event, to remind them of important classroom activities, or to ask a specific question), but these phone calls gave parents a chance to ask me questions, express concerns, or share important information about their child. As Aaron Puley (@bloggucation), the Parent and Student Engagement Consultant for our Board, would say, these phone calls allowed for real parent engagement, as I was not just giving information, but giving a chance to share.

I believe very strongly in the home/school connection, and talking to parents is a great way to really make this connection with them. I may be teaching older students now, and in an attempt to make them more independent, I may not need to share as many reminders with parents, but I think that this talking time with parents is just as important as it was before. Students go through a lot of changes in Grade 6, and it’s important for parents to know that their teacher supports their children as they experience many of the ups and downs of pre-adolescence.

Also, while I may be used to these weekly phone calls now, it still always amazes me how much can be shared in just a couple of minutes. Important information comes out of these talks. What I find out about my students helps me as I plan for them and ensures that they have a successful year at school.

As I mentioned in a previous blog post, I try to allow for many ways to communicate WITH parents (from agendas to blogs to emails), but while my students may be older now, I will still continue with these regular phone calls because I think that these conversations matter. What are your thoughts on this? How do you communicate WITH parents?



4 thoughts on “Taking Time To Talk

  1. Thanks for this blog post Aviva! A few years ago I called parents early in the year to touch base but left it at that. Your comments in this post have really made me think about the value of continuing this kind of connection with parents. Thanks for sharing and being part of my PLN!

  2. I love the idea of weekly/bi weekly phone calls. I’ve never done this before but I do try to make an effort to either send home a personal note or have a personal conversation when I see them at the door. I am also lucky to be able to host community read twice a week and over 75% of my parents attend so we get to visit/connect often. My one worry with phone calls is that many of my parents have limited English skills which makes telephone conversations much more difficult. Face to face we seem to have better success through gestures and what not but those are lost over a telephone line. You do have me thinking though of other ways to connect with my students’ parents or guardians. As always thanks for making my brain spin.

    • Thanks Karen! You’re in a different situation, as I don’t see my parents as regularly. These phone calls allow for this communication. Sounds like you’re already doing many amazing things to connect WITH parents!


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