This post was written by Angela Kiser, a ClassDojo Thought Partner who tweets regularly at angela_kiser
An integral piece of my success each year is developing strong communication with parents. There are various methods in which I attempt to keep my students’ parents informed. Parents can visit my classroom page on my school’s website to find out what topics are being covered, what tests are coming up, and what events our classroom might be participating in during any given week. I update my page weekly or even daily if required.
At the beginning of the school year, I emphasize that emails are the quickest form of communication for me. Although I would love to return their phone calls, it can be almost impossible due to the fact that the nearest phone is in the teachers’ lounge. I ensure parents that I can respond to their questions and concerns much quicker by email. However, a shift has occurred in my communication strategy. A new and exciting tool has opened up an even better line of communication: ClassDojo Messenger.
ClassDojo Messenger has become one of the best ways to get instant information to parents and receive instant feedback as well. Although my first time sending messages were due to student misbehavior, I was thrilled with the results as responses began pouring in from the parents of those few students who were involved. I informed the parents of the incident at 8:30am and by 9:15am I had either a response or an indication that my message was read.
Since then I have found a number of ways to use ClassDojo Messenger to assist my communication with parents. I’ve also noticed that the parents are using it more often as well. With the app notifying me that I have a message, I am able to answer those immediate questions at anytime. I wouldn’t normally see those questions on my email until the morning. If it were a question about homework or an event happening the next day, my response would have been too late.
So far, I’ve used ClassDojo Messenger to:
- Remind parents of end of year procedures.
- Provide a Field Trip checklist of things the students need.
- Congratulate a student (via the parent) on his or her test grade.
- Thank the parents for a great year and wish them a relaxing and safe summer.
- Provide a little positive reinforcement for one or two challenges among my students.
I am surely looking forward to expanding the use of ClassDojo Messenger this school year. I also plan to check in on my students during the summer and send some loving messages to my former students. I’m excited to open a greater dialogue with parents through ClassDojo Messenger and see all the benefits associated with increased parent communication.