Hello, friends! Elisabeth from Literacy and Lattes here today to share a crazy little idea I had...that actually worked! Don't you just love when that happens?
In August I will be the parent of a kindergartner. I have no idea how that happened...but it has me thinking a lot about the parent side of the classroom. I've tried tons of different things to keep parents involved and informed...newsletters, website, Remind group texting, Facebook, Twitter, basic emails... it always feels like I'm missing something or I can't keep up with it enough to make it seem worthwhile.
Anyone else in the same boat?
I teach in Ohio and one piece of our teacher evaluation system asks for evidence of "two-way communication with parents." I struggle with this. Even when I'm putting things out there for parents I don't see a big return...a few parent emails about specific questions, but nothing that really shows "accomplished" communication.
So how do I encourage more two-way communication?
I got to thinking that I needed a better idea of what parents actually want from me as far as classroom communication so I put together a little survey using Google Forms. I sent it out to my parents and then had a panic attack...because what if they said horrible things?
A quick how to if you haven't used Google Forms:
Open Drive. Click "NEW" then "MORE" and select "GOOGLE FORMS."
Click the "+" to add you questions.
Send the link out to your families and Google collects all the results.
I also sent a paper copy home with everyone, including a QR code so parents could easily access the form. I got a few paper responses that I entered into the form myself to keep all the data in one place.
My survey was focusing on communication so here's what I asked:
Honestly, I got some great feedback and now I have evidence of two-way communication from 50% of the families in my classroom.
Google Forms give a great summary of the data, so it's easy to look at and all in one place.
Or you can select "INDIVIDUAL" and see how each person responded. I opted to keep my survey anonymous to promote honest responses, but did leave a place for parents to include contact information if they had a specific question or concern.
Next year I'm planning on sending a parent survey each quarter so I can track the data throughout the year.
I'd love to hear how you encourage two-way communication with parents!