1. A BRAND NEW school
2. New school district
3. New students
4. New parents
5. New colleagues
6. New administration
As I begin to consider all of these factors, I have been thinking more and more about communication. Special education is full of time spent in meetings or on the phone with parents, collaborative teachers, administrators, related services providers, doctors, and the list goes on. Communication is KEY to making sure that all parties involved with students are...well...INVOLVED!
Today is the beginning to a new series of blog posts all about communication. Check out the schedule below:
Five Ways to Effectively Communicate with Parents
- Get off on the right foot Before school begins, I know several regular education teachers send notes to their students to welcome them back to school. This is also a great time to introduce yourself as the teacher that will be watching out for the students with special needs. Parents often know all of the classroom teachers, but don't know the special education teachers. I like to send out a letter to introduce myself before school starts and let the parent know right from the beginning that we are a team.
- Create Detailed IEP at A Glance SheetsGo through each of those due process folders before school starts! Examine each IEP and psychological report and get to know about the student, his/her disabilities, strengths, weaknesses, and check for behavior intervention plans. Before school starts is a great time to get all of that paperwork in line. WARNING: Waiting to look over paperwork will only push you farther behind once the kids come!
is a quick way for me to "see" the child without digging out the due process folders every time I need a date, phone
number, or category of disability. Grab your freebie by clicking picture below:
3. Send Out Parent Surveys
This will be the first year that I will be sending out surveys. This information will help me get to know each student as a person and not just what I can find on paper. This insight into the student will help me to plan lessons, behavior plans, and allow me to beginning building relationships with the students.
4. Call Parents or Send a Note Home
As a parent, I love hearing good things about my own children and I have to remember that when working with other people's children. I love to call home or send a note to say, "Hey, this kid is awesome! He had a great day!"
5. Establish an Open Door Policy
Make parents aware of the times you are available and BE available! Invite parent's to see their children's work, talk about progress, or just say hi. Unfortunately, the only time I get to talk with some parents is during an ARC meeting. That is not exactly the time to get to know each other. This is an area that I personally want to work on this year. I want to know my kids, their parents and their families. Relationships are so important! Kids and parents need to know they are valued and appreciated. Afterall, that's how I want to feel as a parent and teacher.
And finally....some BIG, BIG NEWS and a LOT of work...I would like to present to you:
My Parent Communication Binder!!!! This binder is designed especially for special education teachers, but classroom teachers can also find several of the documents useful as well! I print one of each page for each child on my caseload and place in a tabbed binder.
In this Parent Communication Binder Packet you will find:
Beginning of the Year Note Home
Parent Contact Sheet
Getting to Know You (Parent Survey)
Parent Contact Log
Parent Input Sheet (send home before meetings to get parental input)
Positive Parent Notes Home
Parent Communication Binder Covers
Beginning of the year Note:
I have printed these Getting to Know You Parent Surveys on front and back of a piece of paper...save a tree! ;)
Here's a quickie Parent Contact Sheet...one glance for all the info you need:
Parent Contact Log. I print one for each student on my caseload.
Go now to my TPT shop and download your Parent Communication Binder TODAY!
What are you waiting for?!
Mrs. H's Resource Room TPT Shop
Special Education * Parent Communication Pack
I'm also Linking up with 4th Grade Frolics for Monday Made It!