Blog Swap Sunday with April

 This week's Blog Swap Sunday is a little different.  I knew that being at I Teach K this week was going to really limit my time so this is more of a guest post than a blog swap.  I am so thankful that April was willing to step in this week.  Thanks April!  I will be home from Las Vegas later this today and am really looking forward to sharing more from Las Vegas with you.  But for now you have the amazing April!
Hi Everyone! I'm April from Grade School Giggles and I'm thrilled to be guest blogging for Amy here at Teaching in Blue Jeans.

It's almost time for school to start up again. So, I want to talk about one of those things that can determine how your year goes...parent-teacher relationships. It's much easier to maintain student respect and manage behavior if students know that their parents and teachers are a team.

First impressions count. So, I try and leave a positive first impression during our back to school open house. I dress nicely and great students and parents with a smile. When a parent is unable to come I make a point to call and introduce myself before the first day.

I introduce myself and express my excitement about the school year. I also make a point of listening to any concerns and answering any questions. I'd rather put extra effort into being proactive than into resolving a problem later.

During the first week I call each parent to share something positive about their child. Even if it's a little thing, I find something positive to share about each and every child. Parents love to hear someone recognizing their child.

Parents who know I love their children are much more receptive to hearing about concerns that develop during the year. When there is a concern that needs addressed I will try to stay as positive as I can by politely asking how they are doing, telling them the reason I'm calling, and then focusing on a solution for how we can work together to address the concern.

Over the years I've used a number of methods to document my parent contacts. I prefer to have a folder with one sheet for each child stored in alphabetical order. I keep a pen or pencil in the folder and I take it with me to the phone so that I can jot notes down during the call. Then I can refer to my notes to be sure I follow through with our conversations.

Over the years I've been blessed to work with many wonderful parents and I've had great relationships with nearly all of them. I hope that you will have the same good fortune. Please leave a comment and share what works for you.

Stop by and read more from me at my blog, Grade School Giggles. You can also find me on Pinterest here. I'd love to hear from you.

Thank you April.  I agree with you 100%.  Creating a solid foundation for parent relationships goes a long way to get you through the school year.  I have found this especially true in kindergarten because for some students this is the first time they have been in a formal school setting.  I know with my own son this was the first time that we saw some of his issues surfacing.  A good relationship with the parents makes those tough conversations easier.  Do you have something special you do to build those relationships?  April and I would love to hear from you!

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