Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Communication Made Easier

As teachers, we know that regular, written communication with students and their parents has many benefits. With the number of students and families we work with each year, any practice that builds relationship is worthwhile. As a teacher, I always felt bad if my first communication with a student or their family was about missing work or behavior.

I was talking about this recently with a colleague and here's what she shared:

In my classroom, weekly updates have been extremely beneficial. Inspired by the updates of one of my children’s teachers, I tried it in my classes. There were unexpected benefits. Calls home had a more supportive response from parents who knew that I was communicating clearly. One parent told me, “I know you are organized and a good teacher, so I will make sure my child works hard in your class.” Students told me that their parents would ask about my class more and pressure them to do well. Parent-teacher conferences were better. Weekly updates have definitely been worth my time.

However, writing a weekly letter that summarizes what is happening in your classroom can be daunting. It takes precious time and many of you have multiple preps. We need an efficient way to communicate with our students and their families.

Here is where Schoology can help. Schoology Updates are a quick way to communicate what's going on or coming up in your classroom. There's no worrying about formatting a letter or email. It's just a simple text box for you to type a message. You can even attach a document, link, image, or video to your update. For a quick tutorial about posting updates, take a look at this previous blog post.

Many of you may not know it but parents receive a weekly email summary from Schoology. The summary includes anything that their student did in Schoology that week. It also includes any assignments and updates from their child's teachers. Here's what this summary looks like:

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