As the 2020-21 school year begins, most students and teachers are experiencing a start to the school year that is like no other. Whether you find yourself starting the year with in-person instruction, using a hybrid model, or teaching completely online, communicating effectively with parents and students is an important part of a teacher’s job and something that you may find to be more challenging while teaching remotely.
So as we transition back into teaching and learning this fall, we thought it might be helpful to revisit a few of the Learning Continuity webinars that we recorded earlier this spring. This webinar, in particular, will give you strategies that you can implement right away!
In the webinar, “Tips and Tricks for Communicating with Parents and Students,” Stacey Schuh (Michigan Virtual’s director of professional learning), Alex Rogers (kindergarten teacher at Holt Public Schools), Sam Sicilia (English teacher at Waverly High School), and Kristin Koch (senior ASL instructor at Michigan Virtual) discuss several different topics related to communicating with students and parents.
We hope you enjoy watching the webinar as Stacey, Alex, Sam, and Kristin explain and discuss the various resources and tips that they have in store for you, as well as what practices they find to be both effective and ineffective.
We have outlined the topics and tips below as well as linked the resources for you to make the content easier to refer back to and use! Enjoy!
Examples of means of communication
- Remind: allows you to text parents
- Google Voice: a great way to call families from your personal phone
- Zoom: video conferencing
- Old fashioned snail mail
- Email or phone call
- Google Classroom
Tips for communication
- Consider including parents in email communications with students
- Stick with what means of communication you have already established
- Build upon what has already been used
- Keep it simple and consistent
- Make sure students have opportunities to see you face-to-face
- Be flexible and understanding
- Remember to connect with students on a personal level
- Try to simplify and/or minimize communication so as not to overwhelm parents
- Establish tools and strategies that work when learning is in the classroom or from home
Suggestions for educator support
- Keep it light and be consistent
- Make a daily schedule for yourself
- Maintain connections with students
- Make sure students know you are there for them and available to answer any questions