Good communication between teachers and parents is vital to ensure that both are working toward the same goals—helping students learn and grow. The ability to easily communicate with parents helps them stay informed about the status of their child’s schoolwork (meaning no surprises), and it helps parents be a part of their child’s education both inside and outside of school.
The challenges of keeping parents informed
Students aren’t the most reliable messenger when it comes to bringing home materials to share with their parents. Whether it’s homework or a note from you, parents are frequently left out of the loop. One-way communication often leaves parents in the dark which can add to your frustration.
If you use email to communicate with parents, you increase your chances of helping the student achieve success and you create a digital paper trail which can be important during parent-teacher conferences. But using email to communicate with parents can be time consuming, since you have to type or copy-paste the right information in every email message. If you make errors, it becomes a frustrating experience for everyone involved.
How to simplify communication with parents
The Skooler Learning Management System simplifies the entire process of communicating with parents. It saves time for you, which is critical when you’re teaching many students, and keeps parents updated on their child’s progress, which eliminates surprises.
Here are five ways to keep parents engaged and updated without adding work to your busy schedule:
1. Parents view important information in Skooler’s Parent Portal
Skooler makes it easy for you to share information with parents since everything shows up automatically in the Parent Portal as soon as it’s added in Skooler.
For example, parents see up-to-date info about:
- Coursework: When assignments are added, they can be viewed in the Parent Portal. Parents also have visibility into your comments on student work, allowing them to follow their child’s progress and see your feedback on assignments.
- Individual Learning Plans: If you use Skooler’s ILP tool, all of your assessments are recorded in the system. All of this information is pulled together into a single report of each child’s progress, which parents can access on the Parent Portal. You can also set specific targets for individual students and update parents via the ILP. This keeps parents informed on an ongoing basis and gives you a shared frame of reference for parent-teacher conferences.
- Attendance and Absence: Attendance information is automatically uploaded and is published in the Parent Portal which allows parents to view it at any time. This eliminates any surprises for the parents.
2. Send messages to parents and track responses
You always have the option of sending email messages to parents using Skooler’s integration with Office 365. But Skooler has taken it one step further by making messaging context-relevant and easy to access for you and parents. You can send messages to parents via the Parent Portal.
What’s even better is that you have the ability to track responses from parents which is helpful if you need permission for a school activity. When you send a message, you can request a response, include a deadline for the response and even provide a choice between two options.
When parents reply, you can immediately see the status of responses and approvals for each student. This saves you time when you’re trying to get a quick update on the status of responses for the entire class.
3. Publish information to the Calendar
The Calendar gives parents a snapshot of what’s going on at school and allows them to get more information when it is available. As a teacher, you can share your weekly lesson plans or publish curriculum newsletters that highlight the activities you will be doing in class.
4. Share lesson materials, children’s schoolwork and learning resources
If you’re looking for an easy way to get parents more involved in their child’s learning, give them access to their child’s school work in a “read only” view. If you’re using OneNote Class Notebooks with students, you can give their parents access from the Parent Portal.
You can also share a OneNote Content Library with learning materials that are relevant to the students’ subjects and assignments. This allows engaged parents to further support their child’s learning at home.
5. The Skooler Parent app keeps parents informed on the go
Available for iPhone and Android phones, the Parent app gives parents 24×7 access to important information, including assignments, assessments, week plans, messages, and absence reporting.
Parents can also receive notifications when a message is received, an absence has been registered and when new week plans, assignments and resources have been published. This makes it easier for teachers to keep parents apprised of what’s happening at school.
Informed parents are engaged parents
Communication between teachers and parents is critical for helping students to be successful in school. By making communication part of your daily routine, you help parents support their children and become actively engaged in what is going on at school. Skooler helps simplify the communication process, so that you build stronger relationships with parents, eliminate surprises and make it easy for parents to be involved in their child’s education.
How do you keep parents engaged in the education of their children? Please tell us in the comments.