Teachers have a difficult job. We make students comfortable in our classroom. We help students learn. We collect data and teach data-driven lesson plans. We participate in meetings and help facilitate a positive school environment. We communicate with families for positive and negative behaviors. We keep families informed so they can fully participate in their students education. And so much more!
But getting families involved can be difficult, especially as students get older. I had almost full family involved when I taught 2nd grade. Now that I teach 6th, it stays around 20%.
One simple trick has helped me increase family involvement and make that involvement significantly more positive.
I print business cards with my contact information for families. I add my school email, school phone number, Remind code, Scholastic ordering code, link to the class website, and a quick reminder to contact me with an questions and that email and Remind are the best way to reach me. Last year, I got really savvy and added a QR code that linked to my class website!
I hand these out to all families at open house. I also have them on hand at parent conferences, IEP meetings, and other places I personally interact with families in a teacher capacity.
Now, yes, they could look up my information. They could look at the syllabus or school website or the multiple things I send home plastered with my information. So what makes handing out cards so special?
Handing them my card with multiple forms of contact is a gesture that says, “your child is important to me. I want you to be involved and I see you as an important role in his or her education.”
Not only is this a positive gesture to families, it also helps on the off chance it’s months into the school year and someone says, “I didn’t know your contact information so I didn’t contact you sooner,” (even though you’ve called multiple times, emailed to follow up, and had to speak with them to schedule this meeting). “I’m so sorry for that miscommunication. Here is my business card for the future!” With a polite smile on my face.
I even have a handful of students ask for my card and tape it in their planners. They use it to readily have my email address to contact me with questions or digitally turn in work.
I used these cards for years – https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Teacher-Information-Cards-Open-House-Free-2053280
This year I’m switching to printing business cards using Avery products. I’m hoping it cuts down on the color ink (mine are mostly black and white this year) and cutting. However, aesthetically, I much rather the ones from TPT seller, StudentSavvy, from the link above.
Teaching In Public
P.s. want an added boost? I send emails to all families that have an email in our data system once a quarter. I include upcoming assignment and school events as well as information on how they can help their student be successful. I then print this and display it in my room for my students to reference.