Invisible Communication

Lisa Moberg Uncategorized

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Parent-
teacher conferences are quickly approaching this fall semester, and it’s time
to organize student data and classwork to share with the parents.  I enjoy conferencing with parents as it
provides me with quality time to spend with the number one experts in my
students’ lives.  Although I ensure that
I meet with every single parent/guardian of my students during conferences, I feel
that teachers should be given more time for that 2-way communication throughout
the school year.  Communication is a
vital aspect of the teaching profession, but it has become an invisible
component of the success of a teacher.    

Communication
with parents is so important to the success of our students.  I love the saying, “Together we can make a
difference.”  The most powerful message
to students that we care and hold high expectations for them is through the
positive teamwork of teachers and parents. 
But, it’s the 21st Century; although the century of
communication and collaboration, it’s also the century of working parents,
daycare, and inconsistent family routines. 
How often do you work tirelessly on an informative, interesting parent
newsletter about the current and upcoming events in your classroom, just to
receive a note later in the week, asking for information about what you just
wrote about??   How often do you find a
year’s worth of newsletters stuffed in a student’s backpack??

So
it’s time for more personal forms of communication.  Thinking back on previous encounters with
parents, I will say the most interesting meetings that impacted my students
occurred in personal settings: the emergency room at the local hospital, Little
League games, local parks, and coffee shops. 
Meeting with the parents on their “turf” helps keep our communication
lively, honest, and meaningful.  Being
politically correct is not as important as just sharing funny anecdotes about
their child.  Building bridges with
parents in a personal setting can lead to a lifetime friendship that will
impact their children for decades.

As
teachers, communicating efficiently with parents is easier to achieve through
our technology.   My favorite form of immediate communication
with parents is through texting (with their permission first).  Cell phones are making it easier to talk with
parents without playing phone tag with an answering machine.  (Gone are the days when Mom hits the button
on the answering machine and you cringe upon hearing your teacher’s voice…)  I love having a classroom blog, which keeps
the parents informed about the class projects and events with student-produced
articles, photographs, and video clips. 
The school’s website provides me with a page to keep the parents
informed about upcoming events and curriculum. 
I also use e-mail blasts to electronically send information to all the
parents of the classroom. What are other forms of efficient communication do
you use with your parents? 

Being
proactive and positive as we communicate with parents throughout the school year
will maintain a trusting relationship that will build up the students’
self-esteem and maintain a positive attitude toward school.  The voice of a teacher can get lost in a
backpack through written notes and/or newsletters.  We need to remember to make the invisible
communication visible through creativity, collaboration, and technology.   

 

Lisa Moberg

El Mirage, AZ

Adventure is my middle name. Although I have never sought it out, it somehow finds me, especially in teaching!! These past 16 years of my teaching career have been an exciting voyage in education, stretched between two different states, three school districts, and six grade levels (Kindergarten - 5th grade). After teaching in Washington State for six years, I moved to Arizona and have taught at a Title 1 school in the West Valley for ten years.

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