Communication/intervention Log

Discussion in 'General Education' started by vivalavida, Jul 18, 2014.

  1. vivalavida

    vivalavida Companion

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    Jul 18, 2014

    Do you keep a log of communication or interventions (even as small as after class discussion) with parents and students? I'll be starting my first year and have heard its important to keep track of communication with parents, but am wondering if I should pair that with tracking communication with students. Do you do this? If so, how? I'm wondering whether or not each student would have their own communication log (which has the potential to turn into a lot of paper). How important is it to log minor communication with students, such as discussing a problem behavior with them after class? I'm also worried about maintaining such a system, so suggestions are more than welcome!
     
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  3. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    Jul 18, 2014

    I keep an index card for each student that has their personal info on it. Anytime I have a major situation with a child (ie, a referral, not just a private "hey, cut that out" talk), call/email home or send an official letter, I make a note of it on the back of the card with the date and any response I received from the parent.

    It's been a major help to be able to show what efforts I've made, especially if a parent tries to pull the "this is the first time I'm hearing this!" card with admin.
     
  4. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Jul 18, 2014

    This is definitely a struggle I have. It's IDEAL to have everything recorded and documented. Having the actual wherewithal to remember to do it in the moment after you've just had a stressful moment with the child is another question entirely. I probably miss out on documenting 70-80% of misbehavior. I definitely don't get the small things. I do make an attempt to record the major events.

    We have a digital tracking system that is part of our attendance/grading system for us to track behavior officially. As part of my consequence plan, I also send home letters (they're pre-typed form letters) to be signed and returned. This is nice because in the act of assigning the consequence, I have a written record automatically made for me (if the student actually returns it).

    This year I found an app I hope will be useful in recording interventions, because it seems easy and fast to use, and I can use it in place of the clipboard I currently use. I have yet to see how it will work though.
     
  5. MrsRed

    MrsRed Rookie

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    Jul 18, 2014

    Peregrin, do you mind me asking what app?
     
  6. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Jul 18, 2014

    My first and second year I kept a notebook with very detailed notes on student behavior and parent communication. It's definitely lessened since then as I've never had a use for the notes except for the severe cases. Now I keep notes on the big behavior problems- something I would need to speak about again with parents and administrators or guidance counselors or the school social worker. I keep track of parent meetings but don't always take notes.

    For parent teacher conferences I have an index card with each child's name to remind me of things I want to speak to the parent about and if the parent has any concerns or we discuss anything new or different I add that to the index card as well. This is mostly because with so many meetings it's hard to remember what you spoke about with each parent.

    This year we have time built into our contract for parent "communication" I want to say 20 minutes a week. I'm looking forward to getting a lot done during that time.
     
  7. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Jul 18, 2014

    I teach at a school with a lot of helicopter parents and a lot of parents that *know people in high places ;) So I like to have a log that is easily transferrable to my administration.

    I copy my class lists from a PDF printout and drop the names into an Excel spreadsheet. I skip over a column and then place any parent contacts into a single cell. Mine are super short and might read like: 6/05: called Mom re: John's refusal to work in class; 6/08: call from Mom checking up on John's attitude; 6/09 left message on cell voicemail re: John sneaking out of class (referral written).

    Since it is all in a single cell the page looks nice and neat when I open it, but once I click on the cell I see lots of details. I don't need to print it so how it looks on paper doesn't matter to me.

    DO, do, do make a contact log. It saved my butt one year, big time. I had a sibling of a star student that year. The kid was failing my class because he refused to do anything. He was smart enough but had other priorities than school. Right before year's end I was called into the principal's office. The superintendent was there. Principal asked me if I had given the parents any notice about their son's poor performance. It is the district's unwritten policy that we cannot fail any student without attempting to contact the parent first. In an 18 week course I had over 32 points of contact, which included two in-person conferences. I signed onto my school account, pulled up the excel document and printed it out. Since I was ambushed there was no way to claim I made up those dates/comments after being asked.

    Saved my butt big time. the father was making a huge fuss and he did have a lot of pull. After all, the super drove across the district to speak to the principal about the child's grade in my class.


    A few years ago I kept my communication log on paper. I had an information sheet for each student (address, course schedule, etc) and I'd write notes about contacts on the back of the sheet. That worked okay too. I just prefer having something I can email to my administration when they occasionally ask.
     
  8. geoteacher

    geoteacher Devotee

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    Jul 18, 2014

    I also make a log of all contacts with parents, and I keep copies of any physical notes. I use our grading program to keep the log as there is a log section within the program.
     
  9. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Jul 18, 2014

    Admin wants us to because we have a lot of behavior problems at our school, but I don't. That's simply because I rarely call home anymore.

    In the past, I've done more call homes and I kept a log of this in a binder. I put in tab dividers and notebook paper for each section/class I taught. Every time I made or attempted to make contact with a parent/guardian (phone, email, or in person), I would write down: the name of the child, the date I made (or attempted to make) contact, the number I called (and if it worked), the person I talked to and their relationship with the child and why I called.
     
  10. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Jul 19, 2014

    It's called classcharts.com. (I feel like I should get paid for advertising for them, I've been plugging their site constantly on this forum! :lol:)
     
  11. MsDouglas

    MsDouglas Rookie

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    Jul 21, 2014

    I had to turn in my parent contact numbers at the end of every month. I kept an Evernote document for each month to track my parent contacts. I made it really simple because I'm bad at remembering to write things down.

    Date Student Name
    - Parent Name
    - Reason for phone call/email

    At the end of the school year, we had to put all of our contacts to the parents of failing seniors in a document. I'm so glad that I had my contacts in Evernote. However, I might change to a Google Spreadsheet this year. It was difficult to search through all of documents.

    I keep index cards for each of my students with their parents contact information on it. I always pull these cards out when I sit down to make contacts.
     
  12. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    Jul 21, 2014

    Definitely track parent communication.
    As for students you'll be talking with them all day. I would only make note of any interactions that were part of a behavioral concern.
     

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