4 Simple Ways to Communicate with Parents & Families

Teacher / Parent / Family CommunicationI've said it before and I'll say it again... Family-teacher communication is crucial to the success of our kiddos! Communicating with families doesn't have to be super time consuming and you should definitely make it a priority. I wanted to share some of my favorite simple ways to communicate with families.

Make families IEP VIP Books
My SLP did a family survey last year to gauge families ' comfort with the IEP process. A piece of feedback that we got was that families don't know how to easily contact teachers and service providers and that they don't really understand service time. To help families with this, I made these little IEP VIP flipbooks. The books are individualized for each kiddo and have teacher and therapist contact information and service time. Now families won't have any question about how to contact the important people on their child's IEP!

Teacher / Parent / Family Communication
Click to find this in my TpT shop.
Simplify Back & Forth Books
Although back and forth books can be time consuming, I think they're SO important in special education classrooms. Most of my students are non-verbal, so they aren't going home and telling their families what happened that day... so it's my job to make sure families know what's going on at school! If you simplify your back and forth books, you should be able write in all of the books pretty quickly. I can complete my 9 back and forth books in about 10 minutes total. My favorite ways to simplify back and forth books are to use checklists and to use planners from the Dollar Tree.

Teacher / Parent / Family Communication
Back & Forth Book with checklists. Click to find this in my TpT shop.

Capitalize on Technology
I like to use technology in a variety of ways to communicate with families . In the past, I've done a classroom blog with monthly posts. This was a good way to share pictures, information about what we did that month and updates with families. However, families didn't check it very often (even when they got an email notifying them there was a new post), so I felt like it was a waste of my time.
Now I use the Bloomz app as my main mode of communication with families. It's completely free and it allows you to share pictures, videos, calendars and classroom updates with families in just a few easy steps! It also has 2 way messaging so you don't have to give families your cell phone number. It's great because most families check their smartphones so frequently.

Teacher / Parent / Family Communication

Utilize Surveys & Inventories
Give families surveys and inventories to fill out at the beginning of the year so you can gauge how families want you to communicate with them, then base your communication on the survey results. This will avoid you spending time writing a classroom blog or weekly newsletter if families aren't interested in it!

Teacher / Parent / Family Communication

What are your favorite ways to communicate with families?