By Samantha Bell
Keeping parents informed is a big part of a teacher’s job. While classroom newsletters are a great way of sharing information, they can often get lost – not only in a backpack, but among the piles of papers, bills, and mail that adults have to keep up with. But there are a few things teachers can do to help make sure the information is getting where it needs to go.
- Pick your method of delivery with your class in mind. When deciding whether to send home printed newsletters or to email them directly to the parents, consider the students you have in your class. Do all of them have access to a computer and printer at home? The newsletter you send should be easily accessible to all parents and printable if they prefer paper copies.
- Be consistent with the delivery. When parents know when to expect a newsletter, they’ll know when to be on the lookout for it. This applies to both paper copies and emailed newsletters. Your newsletter might go out monthly, bi-monthly, or weekly, but it should go out on the same day each time. That way, even if the child forgets about it, the parents haven’t.
- Be consistent in the format. Many parents are so busy trying to keep up with everything that they may only have a few moments to read the newsletter. Knowing what to expect in the newsletter makes it easier for them to find the information they need. Your newsletter might begin with a section about the current subjects being studied. The next section might address upcoming activities that parents need to be involved in, such as field trips, classroom parties, or fundraisers. Your newsletter could conclude with callouts recognizing individual student achievements. Whatever information you include, keep the format the same each time.
- Include classroom photos. Children love seeing themselves in candid classroom photos, and they love showing them to their parents. When applicable, add these photos to your newsletter. If you do, chances are your students will make sure their parents see the photos, too.
In a world inundated with information from newspapers, television, and the internet, it’s easy to see how a newsletter might get lost in the shuffle. But by being deliberate and consistent in how you present it, you can help ensure that your classroom news is reaching and informing the ones who need to know --- the parents. get!