What is my kid talking about?

In my classroom, each student has their own mailbox.  Contained in these mailboxes are projects, notes home, permission slips, newsletters, invitations, etc.  At the end of the day, these papers move from the mailboxes to the students’ backpacks and I send them off with hopes that their parents will look in the backpacks and see the papers.  Unfortunately, when the next day’s papers go into the backpack, they get shoved in on top of the never-seen papers from the previous day and I get a phone call in the middle of my reading groups because a parent wants to know what (field trip, event, project, visitor) their kid was talking about.

I am active in my attempts to communicate with parents and if I am addressing an issue of high importance, I will call or e-mail the family.  But, how can I get the other important information to all my students’ families in an efficient and effective manner? I would love to have my families be able to access information from the classroom newsletter without having to call and interrupt class time with a question.  I would love to not have to seek out parents the morning of a field trip because they never signed the permission slip.  How do you ensure the communication with your families is not one sided?  Do you use a classroom website?  Does your district provide something like Edline?  Do you just take a few extra minutes and contact each family using their preferred communication method?  Leave a comment and let me know how you communicate with your families.


About krummme

I have been working with children with special needs in some capacity or other for the last 9 years. I am currently in my third year teaching in a self-contained classroom for students with Intellectual Disabilities. In addition to my classroom responsibilities, I am also a wife and mother. While the jobs of wife and mother bring me the most joy, I get so much out of my work with my students. This blog is the musings of my life.
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3 Responses to What is my kid talking about?

  1. Traci Eckenrod says:

    Hi there. Our district uses Google sites for each teacher to create a web page that includes a calendar. Parents can then check the calendar for updates and important messages. You could link permission slips and other important information to the calendar as well. I don’t think there is anyway we can get every single child and parent to see everything that is sent home. The parent would have to be willing to access your site and I know some might have access to internet. I believe you can sync a calendar to smartphones to send reminders too. Good luck!

  2. Kathy Campbell says:

    I struggle with the same thing. Our district does not use Edline. Our grading system, PowerSchool, is available to them via the internet, and through that, they are able to see their child’s grades and contact any teacher, but specific assignment details are not accessible at this time. To further complicate it, one has to have internet to do this, and the problem is that MANY of our families do not have computers or any internet connection at home. Reaching them is mostly via snail mail, phone, or back pack. At the request of any parent who wants it, we send the daily assignments via email, but again, only those who have internet access have this option. Because of this, their options for contacting us are limited as well.

  3. Tena says:

    We use Infinite Campus for our online grading system, and it has a place for teacher messages. The only problem is that many of the parents who need this communication do not have e-mail. I try to cover my bases by using snail mail and phone calls as well as blogs, a class Facebook page, and Campus Messenger. I also use our students’ assignment journals. I wish there were a perfect solution!

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