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The Power of Positive Parent Communication

Amy Sheppard  |  June 28, 2021
I believe there is value in sending positive communications to parents, even seemingly small ones. This practice makes the times when you need to address an issue with parents a little more well received because you’ve built trust with the parents. By making it a point to send positive, affirming messages, you can avoid having parents feel like you’re targeting their child if there is ever something that needs to be addressed. When you build that trust, it allows parents to reaffirm messaging at home.

It makes me more comfortable talking to parents about wanting to help their child after I’ve taken the time to show them I really do see and value the positives in their child. Their kids are important to them, and I like to show them I understand. It lets them know I’m genuinely concerned about their kids. Taking time to build relationships and nurture that rapport helps in the long run.

Positive communication doesn’t need to be a big-time commitment, though. You may be thinking about how you could carve out time to do this on top of teaching, planning, grading, and everything else you do as an educator. Where will the time come from? How is it possible to make this a reasonable priority?

I rely on the power of a quick email.

It doesn’t have to be a thesis on how their scholar is doing. It doesn’t even need to be a one-page summary of all the good things they’ve done. You don’t need to write a formal letter or spend time making a cute certificate (as much as we may like to do these things as teachers, time is of the essence!).

Two to three sentences go a really long way. A quick note saying a student participated well can do the trick. It means a lot to parents and it’s far more genuine. It’s as simple as, “This is what your child did today. I was impressed.”

I also believe the kids who struggle or have more behavior issues are the ones that need that positive email sent home. I try to make sure those kids get one fairly early on in the year to let the parents know that I recognize the positive. Those parents are probably the ones who are used to getting the not-so-good emails and phone calls and showing them you see and celebrate the positive in their child means a lot.

But keep in mind the students who are always doing the right thing. They can also get left behind because they don’t get acknowledged. Make sure they are also seen.

Read about my three ways for proactively communicating with parents here, my six tips for communicating with parents here, and what I wish I knew about parent communication as a new teacher here.

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