As we all know, parent communication is an extremely important part of our job. Staying in touch with parents about their child's progress is crucial. But how do we keep it all together and organized when there are phone calls, emails, conferences, after school encounters, etc. to keep track of?
As I'm sure quite a few of you have encountered, sometimes there is a lapse in memory on our part, or the parents' part, as to the details that were discussed during one of these encounters. Because of this, I find it extremely important to keep good records of my parent communication. Not only is it beneficial to have this communication with parents, but at most schools and districts it is required. As a matter of fact, in the district I work at, teachers must present their parent communication log as part of their end of the year evaluation to their administrators. For these reasons, it became important for me to have a well organized Parent Contact Log.
After several attempts, I finally found a method that works extremely well for me, and I've been using it for quite a few years. As a matter of fact, quite a few teachers who have walked into my classroom in the past and have seen my (3 inch) Parent Communication have asked me about it and have chosen to do the same in their classroom. Therefore, I thought I'd share it with you, my fellow Co-Teachers.
This post contains affiliate links to help you find the resources quickly which means that if you purchase through the link, Amazon will give me a (very) small percentage at no extra cost to you.
The supplies recommended are a 2 ring binder (I suggest at least a 2 inch binder for classes of 25+ students.), page protectors (2 per student), and a parent contact log.
My binder has three sections per student.
- The first section is a sheet titled "Getting to Know You."
- The second section is a sheet titled "Parent Contact Log."
- The third section is just a clear page protector.
Each section is explained in detail below.
This page is distributed to each student on their first day in our classroom. They have their parents fill it out, and then the student brings it back to school.
It asks for the child's name, school identification number, birth date, allergies, parents' phone numbers, parents' emails and any information they think is important for the teacher to know. This last section is where parents write children's interests, medical issues, fears, or any information they think the teacher will need to know.
Once I receive the page back from the student, I place it a page protector in the binder (in alphabetical order).
This page does NOT go in a page protector since it needs to be accessible to quickly write on after communicating with a parent. This page has a space to write in the student's name and identification number. Below it, there are five sections provided to document, up to, five parent communications for this student. Each of these sections is further broken down.
Log Information Included:
- Time of Contact
- Type of Communication (quickly circled: In Person, Note, Phone, Email, or Virtually)
- Reason (quickly circled: Behavior, Academics, or Other)
- Area to write detailed description of what the conversation was about
A clear page protector goes last. This is where documents used to communicate with parents, such as notes, emails, sign and correct tests, unsatisfactory notices, tardy slips, etc. are housed. I also like to include a print out of grades or diagnostic results I have referred to when meeting with parents stamped with the date of the meeting.
Having a clear page protector saves time from having to hole punch documents and place them in the binder.
- If you feel like you don't have time to file all the notes immediately, set up a bin near your desk to drop the notes in, and once a week file them. This will alleviate clutter and keep you organized without having to run to the binder each time you receive a note.
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If you've struggled keeping your parent communication notes organized, I hope this gives you some new ideas that work for you. If you have another successful method, please feel free to share in the comment section below. I'd love to read what works for you.