Saturday, September 2, 2017

Parent Contact: the Phone Call (with a script!)

Following up on last week's post "The Secret to Parent Contact", I'd like to share another way to make positive connections with parents....the phone!

Positive phone calls home are great for a few reasons.

1. If you tell your students that you will be watching the class and making one positive phone call home to someone's parent, it is amazing how motivated students become to impress you in order to get that phone call. (sa-weet management strategy)

2. Parents LOVE to hear compliments about their kids! After all, your students are someone's "pride and joy". Who doesn't want to hear someone else find their child doing a great job?! And especially the teacher!

3. By calling the parent or even leaving a voice mail, you have made the first step toward establishing a good working relationship. Later if you need to make a call regarding the child's poor behavior, the parent knows that you are not just calling to complain. And let's face it, most calls from teachers to parents are about just that - poor behavior. If you have already shown the parent that you have seen the good stuff from the kid, they are more likely to support you when you call about some not-so-good stuff. You become a team, trying to shape this kid into a good human being. C'mon, that's one of the great things about teaching, right?

Don't be afraid of parent phone calls. And don't think that your input doesn't matter just because you are not the child's classroom teacher! IT DOES! chose one student a week or one per class. When do you find time to make these calls? Cause let's face it, there's never enough time. Choose a small block of time at the end of the day or end of the week.

Have the phone numbers ready and even a sheet of paper for a log to jot down whether you actually talked to someone or if you left a message. Then take a deep breath and make the call(s). It does not take much time to say a quick hello and praise their child. You leave the parent feeling good and you will feel awesome as well.

Eek! But what do you say exactly? 
Here is a sample script.

Hi, this is John Lee, the music teacher at Parker Elementary School. I'm calling about Jonah Smith. Is this Jonah's mother? I'm just calling today to tell you what a great job Jonah did in Music today. He was super helpful to his classmates, showing them the proper way to hold the recorder. He was patient and positive and his friends appreciated his help. I make one positive phone call each day (week) to share good news about a student, and today Jonah is IT! Would you please tell Jonah I called? He knows this is a big deal in my Music room and he will want to know! Thanks so much!

Be positive with a specific example of what the child did and why that was a good thing.

And voila - it's done! WIN-WIN! It's doesn't take much time at all and spreads really good mojo between you and your parents.

Give it a try! I'd LOVE to know how it worked for you!

Happy Honking! Ellen


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