My first year of teaching, the very thought of communicating with parents gave me nightmares. As an introvert, this was something I just stressed over. I remember the first parent email coming through and my heart raced. While it took me a bit to get over that first hurdle, parent communication is not necessarily easy, but I can say that it has become easier. Here are a few things that have I have learned along the way.
1. Determine a mode of communication that works for you
I assumed that email would be my best and most efficient mode of communication. The thought of talking to a parent on the phone freaked me out. However, I would spend HOURS trying to carefully craft an email. Before pushing send, I often had a colleague read over everything, and let me say, many emails needed work.
What surprised me was that I prefer phone communication. The very thing that scared me, actually was so much easier for me. I could be myself on the phone, I knew that I had more control at wrapping up the conversation, and communication by phone was a safer bet than an email, where my words were saved for all eternity.
We must however realize that in some cases a parent may not have access to internet and therefore if email is our preference, we may need to look at other options such as phone, in-person or letter. As well, your school might have access to a translator that can help you communicate effectively with parents.