I started making positive parent phone calls on Thursday.
This was something that one of my professors recommended to me while I was getting my certification, and I really liked the idea. Gives you a chance to touch base with the good before you have to call with the not-so-good, and helps get the parents on your side when you do call with the not-so-good because you've already demonstrated that you're not just looking for a kid to cause trouble. I hear a lot of people do this, but I don't personally know many teachers who do.
Though I did it my first year (it's actually how I originally got the Eyeliner Queen on my side), last year I never got around to it, and I regretted that. So this year I vowed to do it, no matter how busy I am at the beginning of the year.
I got through about fifteen - just a quick call to say, hey, your kid's doing well in my class so far, participating, doing their work, not causing problems. Some were slightly more personalized, but basically the same thing. I made sure I called on a few kids who have histories of being troublemakers, since those parents especially don't hear good stuff much. One, after I was explained why I was calling, said, "Oh, that's great - I was already giving him a dirty look that the school was calling so I'm so glad he's not in trouble again." Everyone I talked to was very pleased, and I left messages with the others.
The next day during my honors class, one of my girls told me that her mom had said to tell me that she'd gotten my message. I asked if she knew why I'd called; she didn't, so I told her. Then a few other kids I'd called started saying things like, "Oh yeah! My mom was so psyched! That was awesome!"
After a minute, a girl I hadn't called yet blurted, "Did you call EVERYONE last night?" No, I said, not everyone. I'd get there, but I hadn't yet. She nodded, but was clearly disappointed she wasn't in the first round.
I'm going to have to spend a few hours this week getting through the rest.
(Photo credit to tj scenes)