Friday, August 17, 2012

The One With the Parent Homework

We all have forms and letters that we always send home on the first day of school.  I honestly feel sorry for parents.  That first night of school must be pretty overwhelming for them.  I try to limit the amount of papers I send home on the first day of school.  I do this for a couple of reasons.  One is to help parents out, but the other is to keep it simple for myself.  I'm less likely to forget to have something ready to go that first day if I keep it to a minimum.

The most helpful paper I get from parents all year long is something I send home on the first day of school.  It is a simple form that ask for their name and contact information at the top.  I ask parents to email me if they prefer to be contacted by email.  This cuts down on the time I have to spend typing all their emails into my address book as well as the number of mistakes I might make trying to decipher handwriting.

On the bottom of the form is one open ended question.

"Is there anything I need to know about your child in order to make this a successful year?"

I learn so much from this little question.  By not asking several specific questions, I believe I learn more about the students.  The parents are not confined to certain perimeters.  They can share with me whatever it is they believe I need to know.  I get answers ranging from medical history to family issues.  Sometimes it is as simple as letting me know the child has always been a great student.

I've added this form to my TPT store.  Click here to download it for free.

1 comment:

  1. I absolutely love this idea, and I just may steal it. I'm just wondering if you make any modifications for parents who do not speak English. Most of my parents don't, and I could certainly have the letter and responses translated, but I thought you may have some insight as well.

    Thanks for the great idea!