Parent-teacher communication is an essential component of effective teaching. Remote learning changed the way we communicate, moving us from handwritten notes to technological tools. Fortunately, as the old saying goes, there’s an app for that — in fact, there are many. Here are some communication tools you can keep using far beyond the virtual classroom.
Remind is a free app that allows you to set up a class list with one or more emails or phone numbers per student. While email is often a great choice, texting is quicker. And since text messages can easily be sent to any device, they’re also more accessible for families who may not have ready internet or computer access. Remind provides easy-to-understand, visual sign-up instructions to share with your students’ families. It also allows you to create multiple classes if you teach more than one.
ClassDojo builds connection in the classroom by allowing you to share moments with parents, showcase student work and encourage positive student behavior. I’ve used this app as a parent, and staying connected made sending my little one to kindergarten a little easier on my heart. I loved being able to tell her when she got off the bus that I saw her class project, and it made dinner time conversation meaningful since we could truly talk about her day. Additionally, when a whole school adopts ClassDojo, all teachers’ contact information is included in the app. This handy directory makes parent-teacher communication even easier.
ParentSquare is another great communication option for entire schools or districts. This multipurpose tool can send phone recordings, emails and texts to student families. Plus, the service offers translation into 30 languages. ParentSquare is also part of a greater initiative to help schools go as paperless as possible, giving you the option to send and receive permission slips and other important documents electronically.
Of course, sometimes an app just won’t cut it. Phone calls will always be necessary. If you don’t feel comfortable putting your personal phone number out there, you can dial *67 before entering a phone number on any cell phone, which will make your number display as “Unknown” on the other end. You can also explore Google Voice, a service that assigns you a new number to make and receive calls while still using your personal device.
Effective parent communication can help set your students up for success. Fortunately, there are tons of tools available to help you make that communication as clear as possible.
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