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Parents are more open to working with me when problems arise if they know that I notice and appreciate their childs' strengths. Making a positive phone call to share one or two things I have observed a child doing well lets the parents know that I am noticing their child's strengths.
During the year I also try to call parents occassionally to let them know if I have seen growth or improvement. Not only do parents enjoy hearing about these things, but it also means that parents don't assume I am calling about a problem every time they see the school's number on their caller ID.
Of course, in whatever form parent communication occurs it is important to document. Planning how you will document it ahead of time makes it a lot easier to keep up with. I keep a folder with my students' phone numbers and multiple copies of a communication log in it. The Lesson Plan Diva has a great parent communication log that she is sharing for free.
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