A Picture Goes a Mile

Mar 27, 2014 | by Janice Smith

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In recent interviews with teachers at each of our Partner Schools, we’ve been asking the question about how they build strong relationships with parents.  Both logistically (how often do you call home?  what gets sent home with students?), but also (possibly even more important), what messages are you intentionally sending to parents that builds STRONG relationships.  Stay tuned for a bunch of clip additions to the library on this front in coming weeks.

While editing, we were reminded how much we loved this one quick idea.  Literally something you could start using in your class tomorrow.  Or right now.  Take a look:

What do we love the most?

  • How simple this is!  This is not a time consuming strategy, and in fact many of us are taking pictures of our students anyways.  Why not share them with their parents?
  • The intentionality about sending specific messages to parents.  Today it seems that what we take pictures of has begun to indicate what we care about.  Someone’s Instagram account is full of pictures of their meals at fancy restaurants?  Probably a foodie.  All baby pictures?  Probably a new parent.  Exotic beaches, cityscapes or mountains?  Probably a traveler.  So when we take the time to snap photos of our students, we’re showing the world through our actions that this is something we care about.  When we take the extra 15 seconds to text it to their parents, not only are we saying ‘I care about your child’, but also ‘I want to share in their growth with you’.
  • Lastly, it sends a strong message of ‘We’re on the same team’ when you make the move to include them.  It becomes a partnership, as opposed to ‘You have them at night, I have them during the day’.  Sharing those parts of their day allows you to truly collaborate and support the child more holistically.

Pretty powerful messages for such a simple move.  Probably why we love it so much.

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