Let’s face it, sometimes teacher to parent communication can be tricky.

I don’t think many of us would claim to have become teachers because we just love making phone calls or sending emails to parents. Am I right?

But that doesn’t mean building relationships with families isn’t an important part of our job. We all know that student-teacher relationships key to a successful school year. Students need to feel safe in our classrooms, be able to trust us, and believe we have their best interests at heart. Guess what, students’ families need the exact same things!  

 

As a teacher how can you use regular communication with parents and families to your benefit?

 

 

Here’s the thing…

  • Building positive relationships with families doesn’t have to take a ton of time. 

  • The amount of effort you put into building relationships at the beginning of the year will pay off throughout the school year.

  • Your Google Site can help simplify and streamline communication routines.

 

 

Here are 3 simple tips for how you can use Google Sites to build meaningful relationships with parents and families (even before the school starts)

Google Sites for Teacher to Parent Communication

 

Tip #1 Use digital newsletters

 

I’ve been on the newsletter bandwagon for quite some time but I’m not sure I knew what real teacher love was until I started using digital newsletters! 😍 Seriously, game changer! 

 

 Here’s why I love using digital newsletters:

Digital Newsletter for Parent Communication
  1. They’re digital! That means no more copies! That also means, you can’t forget (and then remember 5 minutes before the end of the school day) to print and copy newsletters to send home. 🤦‍♀️
  2. Parents can read them when it’s convenient for them. Yes they can do this with paper newsletters also, but fellow mamas, tell me how often you’ve accidentally thrown away some important paper your kid brought home from school? Not just me I hope! 🤞
  3. Digital means you can add links right there in the newsletter!! 🙌 Need parents to sign up for a Parent/Teacher Conference time slot, or volunteer to chaperone the next field trip? Add a link for that and then BAM!  Done!

I know what you’re thinking, digital newsletters sound great and all but what does that have to do with Google Sites? 

 

Well, using Google Sites means you can easily integrate and embed other Google Apps right there in your site like Google Slides. Slides are perfect for creating and sharing a newsletter with families. And the absolute best part—each time you create a new newsletter in a Google Slide Deck embedded in your Google Site your site is automatically updated!! 🤩

 

 

 

 

Tip #2 Streamline how you give and get info

 

Google Sites makes this process so easy. Seriously. Think about all of the information you need to share with new students and their families at the beginning of the year. It’s a lot to prep and manage! 

 

Tell me if this sounds familiar…

 

It’s a few days before the beginning of the school year. You’re running around trying to get everything ready to welcome your new students for a Meet the Teacher event. Your classroom is perfectly setup, you’ve got adorable little gifts with personalized tags waiting for new students on their desk, along with a number of important papers for families outlining everything from schedules to school procedures.

 

As the even starts and families arrive, you’re busy circulating the room welcoming everyone and of course answering a million questions. You’re all smiles, chatting up families and making a great first impression (way to go!) Then as the event wraps up, you realize how many families set down those oh so important papers and forgot to take them home! 🤦‍♀️

 

Oh no! Now what?!

 

Here’s another thing to consider—besides giving families a ton of information at the beginning of the year, you probably also need information from families before school starts. Information like any medical concerns or allergies they might have, how they get to and from school each day, ya know, the important stuff. Well, what do you do if they leave the Meet the Teacher event without filling out the survey you prepared? Or what about the families who weren’t able to attend the event at all? How do you get their info?

 

This is where tech comes to the rescue!

 

Specifically Google Sites and Google Forms 😉

Google Sites Parent Portal for Communication

 

 

Setting up a Parent Portal on your website where all of that important info lives permanently means all it takes to give parents the rundown on how things will work in your classroom is sending out an email with the link to your site. That means whether or not parents were able to attend your event (or if they accidentally left that paperwork in the buzz of excitement surrounding the new school year), they can still get all the details when it’s convenient for them. 

 

 

 

Back to School Parent Information Forms for Google SitesSimilarly, using Google Forms allows for the same kind of convenience for you and parents when it comes to them giving you that important info about their child.

 

 

Creating a digital survey using Google Forms means the only prep on your end beyond creating the survey is sending out the link. No more reminder phone calls or emails to parents asking them to return it, and no more tracking down “lost” paper surveys in student backpacks. 😱

 

 

Plus, you can set up notifications in Google Forms to alert you when a new response has been submitted. My favorite part about using Forms though is that I don’t have to keep track of it after parents fill it out (yep, I’m guilty of losing one or two). It’s safely stored and easily accessed in my Google Drive any time I need. 👍 

 

 

You can grab a copy of the Google Forms Student Information Survey I use here (for FREE!).  

 

 

 

Tip #3 Share what makes your classroom so special 

 

 

 

It’s no secret that parents want the best for their kiddos. Along with wanting to know that they are in good hands each day at school they also want to feel involved in what is going on in their classroom. They may not be able to visit your classroom regularly, though to see all of the amazing things happening there. That’s where you can swoop in with your website and score some major brownie points 🤩

 

 

A class website is the perfect place to regularly share what’s going on in your classroom. Think beyond just sharing pictures (although families love to see those too!) include things like

  • videos of student presentations
  • digital bulletin boards showcasing student work
  • even student created materials like class newspapers or posters highlighting a student of the week. 

 

Student Work Digital Bulletin Board

 

 

 

Now, I know what you might be thinking…

 

 

 That sounds like a lot of work and way too techy for me! 

 

I’m here to tell you, it doesn’t have to be!

 

 

Here are some ideas for making this website fun stuff more manageable:

  • Put students in charge of as much as possible! This obviously depends on the age of your students but put as much responsibility for creating and documenting on your students’ shoulders as makes sense. Your goal should be to do as little as possible (ideally you’d only be responsible for actually posting pictures or links on your website) Plus, they will love it! 😍
  • Pick just a few versatile platforms that will give you the most bang for your buck. Rather than worrying about learning and using all of the newest tech platforms (there are A LOT to choose from) This will not only reduce the number of platforms you need to master but also the number you have to help your students master. 👍 Two of my go to platforms to use with my website are Google Slides and Google Jamboard. 
  • Make a plan! Decide how often you will be updating and adding things to your website. Set up a routine and schedule for posting these things (and make it realistic!). It’s also a good idea to plan which projects or assignments you want to showcase on your site (just like you plan ahead for the hallway bulletin board 😉) You’ll be more likely to stick to it throughout the year if you have a plan. 

 

 

BONUS TIP—Plan on putting more effort into communicating with families at the beginning of the year.

 

Remember how I said the effort you put in at the beginning of the year will pay off? Just like the relationships you build with students, you have to work at it more upfront to build that trust and respect. On top of building that trust, having a solid plan for communicating with families from the get go, speaks to your organization and professionalism as a teacher. Don’t underestimate how much parents appreciate that. 🥰

 

 

So there you go, three simple tips (plus that bonus one 😉) to help you become the favorite teacher. 🤩

 

Which of these tips are you most excited to try out this year? Leave a comment below! 

 

Want to learn more about Google Sites and take the headache out of creating a class website? Check out some of my best selling resources here → Google Sites Made Easy 

 

 

And before you go, make sure you grab your FREE copy of the Ultimate Class Website Setup Guide

 

 

 

 

 

 

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