How often do you communicate with parents about their child's progress?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by DrivingPigeon, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Dec 9, 2013

    Here is what I currently do:

    -We send report cards home 4 times per year.
    -Students work towards a specific reading strategy in guided reading. I send "parent pipeline" sheets home in guided reading bags, which tell parents the strategy that their child is focusing on, and how they can help at home.
    -We take weekly spelling tests, which get sent home.
    -Every time we take a math assessment, I send it home, along with a short explanation.

    I just ask, because I had a parent (who is also a teacher at my school) who seemed upset with me today. This parent is always asking what they can do to help at home, so I sent an email that explained some of the skills the child could work on. The response was that I should have informed them at the first sign of struggle. It was a new topic, so I wanted to give the child a few days to practice before I jumped to conclusions that the child didn't know what they were doing. They struggled for a few lessons, so I then informed the parent. They argued that, because they are the type of parent who actually works with their child, the earlier I tell them about the struggles, the earlier they can begin reinforcing them at home. I get it, I really do, but at the same time, I honestly can't imagine informing every parent about any sign of struggle that their child encounters.

    How often do you communicate with parents about their child's progress? Do you communicate with them as soon as the child shows any sign of struggle? (I'm looking for mainly elem ed teachers' input, thanks!)
     
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  3. thirdgradebuzz

    thirdgradebuzz Comrade

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    Dec 9, 2013

    -I send home a weekly list of test/quiz grades for parents to sign and return, along with the papers themselves (for parents to keep). Students actually record the grades themselves.

    -Weekly letter (for parent to sign) and practice sheet (for child to do) about reading skills/strategies for anyone performing below benchmark on the weekly skill

    -Weekly newsletter listing skills we are working on

    -Progress reports every 3 weeks, report cards every 6

    -I don't let parents know of every little thing a child struggles with, but that's mostly because the majority of my parent population wouldn't care.
     
  4. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Dec 9, 2013

    And I guess that's what I'm struggling with...Do you tell all parents everything (I think I would have to work 24/7 if I did this!), or do you just tell the parents that care? It doesn't seem very fair...!

    I forgot to mention that I send home a weekly newsletter that lists skills for the week. :)
     
  5. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Dec 9, 2013

    In my program, I tend to have helicopter parents. I find it makes my life easier if I let them know well in advance if their child is struggling with something. I usually post all homework and objectives for the week on my blackboard site so that parents know what's coming, and I'll generally contact parents on Friday if their student struggled with something.
     
  6. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Dec 9, 2013

    I think what you are currently doing is fine. Is there homework or daily practice from class going home regularly? I would think homework would show that they are struggling with a concept.
     
  7. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Dec 9, 2013

    Not really. :/

    The discussion we had was regarding math, and the parent complained that math was not coming home, so they had no idea how the child was doing. We do work every day in class together, which gets sent home each night. However, I do not send homework home very often. Honestly, the kids are accomplishing what I want them to accomplish during class time. They are working hard, and most of them understand the concepts, so I don't really see the purpose of sending the extra practice home. There are a few students who struggle, but they work with the SPED teacher and myself, and are not independent enough to work on the skill at home. Parents don't use the same language/strategies when helping at home, and I don't want these students to be even more confused.
     
  8. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Dec 9, 2013

    You're doing exactly what you should be doing, DrivingPigeon!

    Please don't let one high-maintenance parent get you down!

    I told myself back in August (when a teacher complained to me about the most petty thing ever) that no matter how hard I work, I'll never please everyone.

    HUGS! :hugs:
     
  9. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    Dec 10, 2013

    I think you are doing more than enough to communicate with parents. Having a little trouble with a new topic is NOT the same as being a struggling student--we all know that sometimes it just takes a little while to click!
     
  10. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Dec 10, 2013

    That's how I feel...I want to have a few days to work with them before I jump to any conclusions that they don't know what they're doing.

    That's for the feedback and encouragement, everyone!
     
  11. Loveslabs

    Loveslabs Companion

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    Dec 10, 2013

    That's a lesson I still haven't learned after 20 years! I have a couple of parents this year that keep saying I should have told them sooner about what the child is struggling with in class. Really? I don't assess every concept after every lesson. Even if I did I still wouldn't have the time to contact every parent.
    One parent is notorious for not reading my news letters and not having her child do their homework, but she is the biggest complainer. She constantly sends me notes and emails wanting to know what she can do to help the child. When I tell her she says I should have told her sooner. Then, she continues to do nothing!!!:dizzy:
     
  12. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Dec 11, 2013

    It sounds like you are keeping the parents well informed. I think this mom is being a little unreasonable. You did let her know as soon as you saw that there really was an issue there that needed to be worked on. It´s unreasonable to think you would alert her the first day you work on a strategy.
     
  13. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Dec 12, 2013

    I am a grandparent of a child who never brings a paper home from school. If a teacher sent me a note, I would never get it. If I want to know how GS is doing, I contact the teacher.
     

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