Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Importance of Positive Calls To Parents

I was taught to call each and every parent at the beginning of the school year. These are positive phone calls to touch bases with the parents and tell them something uplifting about their child. Let’s face it; even the most difficult students have positive traits. The initial purpose of these calls is to lay a positive foundation in the event you need to make a not-so-positive call later in the year. I’ve mentioned how difficult phone calls are for an introvert like me. However, I sucked it up and made those calls. I’m so glad I did!

Parent Reactions

I quickly realized the power of these phone calls. During one of my very first calls, a parent broke down in tears because she had never had a positive call about her child before. Other parents are so excited that they ask me to repeat everything to their spouse. Not all calls are so dramatic, but all are positive and rewarding. If I have an opportunity to make a positive impact on a family, I’m darned well going to take it!

What to Say

These calls are just about the positive traits of the student. Be sure to mention that you enjoy having the child in your class. Each call shouldn’t take more than a few minutes. This isn’t the time to bring up any other issues. In fact, these calls are early enough in the year that there shouldn’t be any issues yet!

A Parents Point of View

I have been on the receiving end of these calls a few times. I felt comfortable talking to those teachers about any issues the rest of the year because I believed they really cared about my child. In fact, once I actually had another positive phone call after school was out for the year. Unfortunately, I accidently deleted the message before I caught her name so I can’t give her kudos here. She was a teacher at Edmond Memorial High School.

If you’ve never tried making beginning of the year calls before, I encourage you to try it this year. You’ll be hooked!

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  1. My former neighbor is a middle school teacher. When she lived next door, she taught at an inner city school. She also made the beginning of the year, positive phone calls to the parents. I remember her telling me that it used to freak some of her students out at first because they had never received a positive phone call from a teacher before... but once their parents told them it was all positive, they returned to class with a great attitude. She told me it definitely got the school year started in a good way, because the parents and the students felt like they had a teacher/partner and someone that really did care. Good work overcoming the introvert in you!

  2. I'll never forget the positive call my parents got about me in middle school. We were all surprised and it meant a lot. When I taught, I didn't always have the time to make phone calls, but I'd jot a quick note down and send it home with the kid. I still do that when I sub. A little praise goes a long way. ALL kids need some...not just the ones who misbehave or the ones who are outstanding.

  3. That you remember the phone call from middle school says a lot. I love that you send notes as a sub! I don't think I've ever had a sub do that. You need to start a substitute blog! I love your CueSticks, what a great idea!