I keep in contact with parents but I’m not the best at keeping track of it. My goal for this year is to be better at it. Below is the sheet that I’m going to use in my notebook. Even in this digital age, I still have the most success with keeping everything together in a binder. Everything I use in it is digital too but there is something about the touch and feel of paper. Anyway, I made it for me but I have it as a download for you as well.
If you notice, I have a spot to check whether the contact was positive, neutral, or negative. (Is there a better word for negative?) I had a principal a few years ago who wanted every teacher to make three positive contacts per week and document it in their lesson plans. I started with three per week but quickly went to more. Now, I TRY to find one student in each class (total of 40) and write them a little note of appreciation.
Here are a couple examples of what I might write:
Johnny did such a wonderful job in music today. He kept the steady beat during our listening time and was a great example to his peers about music room behavior. Keep up the awesome work!
Mary, You should be very proud of yourself and how well you followed the conductor during our keyboard lesson today. Way to be a leader in music!
Sue, I saw you help Joe clean up his supplies today. Thank you for taking the initiative to help others and be a kind citizen at our school.
Now, those are some sugary sweet examples off the top of my head. I promise, my notes are not so fake-sounding. My goal each year is to find one thing about every child I teach that I can compliment. It isn’t easy but it CAN be done. If you’re wondering if parents see these little notes, the answer is a very big yes. Parents frequently comment to me about how much their child loved getting a note from me and how special it made them feel. Classroom teachers have also given me positive feedback about the effect these notes have on their students. Does it directly pertain to music class? No, but I don’t consider myself just a music teacher……..I better stop there before a soap box starts…… :)
As an aside, I have a neutral box to check because sometimes parents call me (and vice versa) to relay information that is neither positive or negative: student absence, performance info, etc.
Anyway, I hope this info helps as you all start your school years. My gosh the summer went by fast!
Thanks for reading!