Parent Communication

Jessica ReedBlog, Connect Better, Engage Better, Manage Better


  • There are various ways to communicate with parents: set expectations and use technology.
  • Set expectations and parameters around response times.
  • Tip: Have positive interactions with parents.
  • There are various ways parent communication can be enhanced through technology: Remind, FlipGrid, email, and Google Voice.

Jessica joined Rae on the Daily Drop In to chat about Parent Communication Refresh.

Click here to watch!

Parent Communication.

These are two words that can either excite or intimidate a new teacher. I mean even an experienced teacher can be intimated when parent communication is required. In today’s classroom, there often has to be constant communication to ensure students are thriving in and out of the classroom. Due to the pandemic, communication must happen to ensure students are making adequate progress. But the question remains for us…“How do we do this without losing our minds?”

Our plates, as teachers, are already full of everything that we have to do in the classroom. But do not worry…we can make communication happen in a fun and engaging way!!

Parent Communication: 2 Ways

There are a few different ways to do this with our parents. Two different ways for this idea include setting expectations with parents and using technology for communication.

Similar to how when we have our students in the classroom for the first part of the school year, the students have to get learn and understand our expectations for them in the classroom. Parents are no exception to this learning of routines and rituals to ensure a smooth and easy transition into the school year.

Similar to how when we have our students in the classroom for the first part of the school year, the students have to get learn and understand our expectations for them in the classroom. Parents are no exception. Click To Tweet

Parent Communication: Setting Expectations

When we start with the school year, there are always new things that everyone has to learn and that includes what are the expectations for the parents and the teacher in the classroom climate. It can include everything from how homework is provided, school events, and different positive or negative behavior referrals.

One of the biggest mistakes I made is that I have never set boundaries until this year. There is nothing wrong with establishing boundaries because we must remember that we are humans too and that teaching is just our job, not all our lives. Setting boundaries can include when and how you will respond in time to parents (i.e. 24-hour turnaround on email or text responses). If you do choose to share your cell phone number, it is a great idea to establish an open-close time so that all know when you will no longer be answering the phone in the evenings.

Tip: Positive Interactions

Another way is to make “good notes” calls throughout the school year to build a relationship and a discussion platform. It can be frustrating for both parties when all that is discussed is negative behaviors in the classroom. This could also include some positive notes in an email or sending home a good note certificate (based on your teaching style). This seems so simple, but it can make a world of difference. The more we offer a positive interaction with our parents, the more support we will receive later in the school year.

Another way to build positive interaction is to provide constructive feedback when dealing with a child’s behavior in the classroom. Students need to know that even if he or she had a bad day, the next day is a clean slate. This is when constructive feedback based on behavior will come in handy because the students can remember how to make better choices and respond more appropriately to circumstances in the classroom.

Parents will appreciate your honesty and understanding when it comes to their child’s behavior, especially if it was handled in a professional manner. Parents need to know they are a part of their children’s success in the classroom. They have a part in the process to make productive citizens for our future.

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Parent Communication: Using Technology to Enhance Communication with Parents

Technology in the classroom is a major part of instruction and learning in the classroom, especially now with all the hybrid and distance learning that has been happening due to the Covid pandemic. There are so many cool and engaging ways to interact with parents in and out of the classroom. Here are just a few:

  • Remind App is a great way to be able to send announcements and messages to parents without giving out personal phone numbers. Parents can respond and share information. This is a free app!
  • Flipgrid is a fantastic way for parents to provide positive thoughts that can be used to give students a pep talk when he or she is struggling in the day. This is a free app, and it is owned by Microsoft. It can also be used for students with disabilities and ELL students to respond to things when they may be struggling to write answers.
  • Email is one way that you can respond to parents. One tip for parent interactions in an email is to be careful in how you word things. Things can be misconstrued so reviewing word choice is key.
  • Google Voice is a way to be able to communicate with parents if you do not use the Remind App. Google Voice is very easy to use and you can text parents to share information. Sometimes text is the best way to get a hold of a parent. Google Voice lets you do that without sharing your own personal cell phone number.

And now for my favorite:

  • Screencastify is a presentation tool that allows students, parents, or teachers to use their technology device to record what is on their screen. There are 3 ways to use it: show your face, just the material on the device, or both. One way to use it is to have students answer their homework at home or when completing distance learning. Have the parents respond with any questions or comments via Screencastify. This allows them to ask questions maybe about a math problem or to clarify the directions to an activity. As a teacher, you can provide feedback for the student. The parent can watch and listen to understand how their child may have done on the assignment. It can be used for conferencing or for any reason at all.

Communication with parents is just one part of our job. But it can be engaging and not as stressful when having a routine and things in place. Good Luck!

About Jessica Reed

Jessica Reed is a special education teacher in Georgia, who has been teaching for 12 years. Jessica’s undergraduate degree is in Elementary Education from the University of Kentucky. She has a Masters of Arts in Collaborative Teaching (6-12) from the University of Alabama. She received her ED.S. in Instructional Technology from Kennesaw State University. Jessica is a certified Google for Education Trainer and a Google Innovator (#NYC19).

Jessica is married to Robby and they have one daughter, Elizabeth (4). She is an avid UKY alumni who loves to present at conferences and make connections with teachers from all over the world to discuss how collaboration can be effective in the classroom.