Reflecting & Raising Clarity: Parent Communication

You know what choices you’re making and why your instructional decisions are good for kids, and I know because we are educators. But, how do you help parents understand the academic choices you make?

Screen Shot 2016-06-21 at 10.14.59 PMIn a recent conversation, I was asked to reflect on the question above.
I found myself feeling a bit defensive at first.  I have a class website on Weebly, a private Facebook group, a class and professional Twitter account, student blogs on KidBlog, my professional writing here on Two Writing Teachers, and my personal blog, Primary Perspective.  How could it be possible any parent would be feeling uninformed about our classroom?  Never has our classroom been MORE transparent!
As I paused to reflect on the question, I began to see what my parent communication was missing.  The families have various opportunities to see what we do in first grade, but I have not provided consistent access to the thinking and rationale behind my teaching practices.
I created the table below to help myself see the classroom from the perspective of a noneducator.  I pulled from conversations with classroom visitors, student teachers, and coaches who have been in our classroom in an attempt to anticipate the thoughts and confusions of others.

Since I last sat at a student desk, education has changed considerably.  No matter the age of our parents, chances are it’s changed for them as well.  So as I plan my lessons, I will also be planning how I will help parents see the intention of the teachings.

This table is just a start. How do you keep your parent communication transparent?