Teachers2Teachers: How to Engage Tough-to-Reach Parents

When it comes to giving advice about teaching, there’s no one better to ask than your peers. That’s why we’ve started Teacher2Teachers, a space where you can ask hard questions and share knowledge.

This month, Jana had a great question, and you all had even better answers.

How can you engage a parent who doesn’t return your phone calls?

1. Use apps and social media. 

Via Gurl.com

Our teachers recommend Remind, ClassDojo, email, text, and Facebook.

“I use the Remind app to send messages via either text message or email. It’s the parents choice. I find that more parents are willing to respond if it’s not over the phone.” -Jennifer

2. Send notes home with students & reward responses

Via SB Nation

“Write a compliment on a note, along with the other information that needs to be communicated. Usually the student wants to show the parent. I also reward the students with our class money system if they bring it back signed.” – Kelley

3. Catch them in-person

Via PandaWhale

“Pick up line after school is the best!!!” – Ilene

“I have found my best option is often a home visit. I’ll take our school counselor or a buddy teacher with me to visit with the parent in person. In severe cases, our principal has suspended students pending a parent conference. In these cases a written notice is sent home with the child.” – Toni


4. Lead with Compliments

Via PhotoBucket

“Send out positive post cards, leave positive phone messages and send positive emails. You can always find something positive to say about even the toughest kids. I find that if parents know you truly like their kids, they are more likely to respond to you.” – Laurie

5. Ask their preference 

Via Future Rising

“I email, text, use the remind app, send notes in the backpack and even go to their houses when needed. With all the technology available today- I usually survey parents at the beginning of the year and ask how they want to be contacted.” – Julie

Watch for the next Teachers2Teachers questions on Facebook every Friday morning. Have a question you’d like to ask our community? Comment here.

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