Communication is Key

If you want your year to run smoothly, you need to begin with great communication!  You want your students and their parents and guardians to understand what to expect while they are in your classroom. You should make the following things very clear: expectations for behavior, as well as rewards and consequences, homework policies, class routines, and directions/due dates for any consistent assignments. Luckily, there are many ways you can communicate with your students’ parents and guardians.

Communication Method #1-Classroom Website
If you don’t already have a classroom website, what are you waiting for!?! Most students and their parents have access to a computer, tablet, or phone that can connect to the Internet, and they love being on those devices. Your classroom website will be just a quick click away!

I know that it may take some time in the beginning to set things up, but TRUST ME, it will save you TONS of time in the future. I personally recommend using Weebly for Education to create your classroom website. I love Weebly for Education because it is so simple to set up. All of the options (images, videos, text, links, etc.) are able to be dragged and dropped wherever you want them to go.

The main page of my website includes a short bio. about myself, as well as the supply list and district calendar.  I post my classroom expectations, weekly agenda (homework assignments), downloadable documents, general language arts information (including due dates of consistent assignments), images of students working, and other homeroom information on separate pages of my website. Including this information on my website lessens the amount of confusion students’ parents may have about classroom happenings.

Weebly for Education has both a free and paid version. I use the free version because it includes everything I need. If you want password protected pages, etc., you might want to pay for the upgraded membership. Here is a link to their tutorial page if you are interested in getting started!

Communication Method #2-Open House {Newsletter/Magnet with QR Code}
I really enjoy Open House every year! It’s a great way to communicate my classroom expectations. I love being able to take the time to go over the different sections of my classroom webpage with my students’ parents.  That way, they know how to get to and navigate my page. However, I also give them a paper version in the form of a newsletter. On the back of my newsletter, students and parents sign the page to say they have read the information provided and that they are aware of my classroom expectations. I also have them quickly check off which type of technology is available to them at home, so I know whether or not my students have access to the Internet, etc. 

Another thing I have done since my first year of teaching is to give my students’ parents a magnet with my contact information on it. That way, if they have any questions or concerns during the year, they are easily able to contact me. I include my school phone #, my school email address, the address to my classroom website, and the address to my school. This year, I decided to add a QR code that students’ parents can scan to access my website faster.

Communication Method #3-Remind
Remind is a safe way to send text or email alerts to your students’ parents. Or, depending on the age of your students, to your students as well.  You do not use your personal phone number, and your contacts are unable to message you back through Remind.

Watch the tutorial below to see how to setup your own account and use Remind.

Communication Method #4-Positive Phone Calls Home
The last communication method that I wanted to add is probably something you already do, but I wanted to reiterate how impactful it can be: positive phone calls home. I think that sometimes we forget how much a positive phone call home may mean to our students or their families. I’ve had students come into school the day after I’ve made a call home with the biggest smiles on their faces telling me that they heard what I had told their parents.

It is so important that we take the time to notice and reinforce positive behavior.  It’s not something you have to do every day, or even every week. You could pick one day during the month to make your calls, whatever works for you. To quote the Nike brand, Just Do It! J

Middle Grade Maven 


  1. I'm definitely using Remind 101 this year. I have done a class website in the past, but I have trouble remembering to post assignments daily before I leave school! I'll be in the tub at 8pm and it'll HIT me that I didn't post that day! It's expected at my new school though, so I guess we'll just see how that goes!
    :) erin

  2. I used to use Remind101, but I switched to Celly last year and love it even more, You should check it out. I even got my principal and a bunch of other teachers on board, so that parents can "follow" a bunch of different "cells" with just one log-in on Celly.

  3. Once a month our department has a planning day. Before we start our meeting, we each write a few quick postcards (our mascot is the Billies, so we call them Billie Brags) home to the parents of deserving students. It's just a quick positive shout-out, but parents have given us a lot of great feedback from it. Several have mentioned that they are still proudly displayed on their fridge at home. It's quick, easy, and impactful - the best kind of communication! :)