Give the parents a voice right away

I forgot to do this last year, but usually I ask the parents of my new students each year to write to me. I ask them to tell me all about their child, to tell me who they are as people and as learners and, basically, to tell me anything that might help me to be a better teacher for them.

Parents love this. They love to have the opportunity to express themselves and give their perspectives about their children. They appreciate being able to do this in a positive way, before parent-teacher conferences or even before something goes wrong.

I learn so much from my students parents, things that may have taken me a long time to find out for myself.

I fully recommend giving this a try. Let me know if you do and how it goes.


Image from RowdyKittens on Flickr


  1. barbganias

    I teach middle school and also do this. At Back-To-School night I invite parents to drop me an email or send me a note about their child. I really love reading those notes and it starts to open up a partnership between parent and teacher that is needed throughout a school year. On the first day of school, I also ask students to write on an index card three to five things that I must know about them in order to help them in the coming year. Combined with the notes from parents, I get a very fast (and helpful) snapshot of my students and we can hit the ground running!

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