The September 17 #NCed chat focused on the topic of Parent Communication. Understanding how to build partnerships with parents is such an important component of educating the whole child. Although most #NCed Chat participants are proponents of using technology to connect with parents, most overwhelmingly agreed that face-to-face contact is best when possible. However, during the chat Tuesday, some amazing online resources and innovative ideas were shared. Here are a few of those ideas:
· Jessica Luby in Newton-Conover City Schools uses Facebook to connect with parents, to provide a platform for questions, and to address concerns.
· Cheryl Rhea in Hickory City Schools uses Edmodo as a secure platform that only the teacher, students, and parents can access.
· Dayson Paison in Alamance-Burlington Schools uses Twitter, Instagram, and Vine to connect with parents.
· Ashley Hurley suggested hosting a parent edcamp.
· Chris Casal from the New York City Department of Education shared he is getting ready to use Google Hangout for parent conferences and does Twitter PD with parents.
· Jeannie Smith in Jones County Schools shared that one of her colleagues uses QR codes to share video podcasts (created with Voc-A-Roo) that her students record with parents. She also shared Teacher Kit app for iPad.
· Angie Sigmon in Newton-Conover City Schools uses Remind 101 to send text reminder to the parents of her second grade students.
· Jill Thompson in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools shared this resource which includes several digital platforms by which to connect to parents.
· Raymond Giovanelli is a principal in Charlotte who does coffee chats, video records them, and uploads them to YouTube for parents who cannot attend.
· David Schouweiler in Newton-Conover City Schools has created a Google Community for parents to connect with him.
A variety of non-tech strategies to connect with parents were also provided. Some participants send greeting cards and letters to the homes of students to share positive behaviors or notes of welcome. Others do tea and cookies with parents quarterly. Jan King, Regional Lead for Regions 7 & 8 from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction shared that it is important to take the educational jargon out of our conversations with parents. The concept of building strong, quality relationships was prevalent throughout the chat. Building trust and compassion and following-through with ongoing communication are keys to developing a partnership with parents.
If you would like to check out the Tuesday, September 17, 2013 full #NCed chat, click here to access the archive.