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4 Ways to Establish Teacher to Parent Communication That Stands the Test of Time

teacher to parent communication

You understand the importance of building relationships with the students in your classroom, but what about their families? Research shows strong home-school partnerships benefit teachers, children, and parents. Check out these 4 favorite ways to establish strong teacher to parent communication this year!

Benefits of Positive Teacher to Parent Communication

Taking the time and effort to communicate with caregivers is not just to add another checkmark on your to-do list. Teacher to parent communication has true benefits for everyone involved! 


Some of the benefits include:

  • improved academic achievement
  • positive attitude
  • sense of community and belonging
  • fewer behavioral issues

With these benefits, you can easily see why establishing positive rapport and strong communication with families is well worth the effort!

Challenges of Teacher to Parent Communication

Before you begin building relationships, it is important to acknowledge that teacher to parent communication can have some challenges. Being prepared for these obstacles will help you develop stronger connections with each of your students’ families.


3 Common Challenges

1. Negative feelings about education  

For some parents, schools were not a place where they felt accepted or successful. These past experiences have shaped their point of view.

2. Parents are busy

Often, families’ work schedules or the needs of younger children may make it difficult for them to communicate with you during school hours. 

3. Families don’t feel qualified to help 

Sometimes families just don’t feel cut out for the job. They don’t believe that they can actually help their child academically. This could be due to language barriers, lack of resources, or inexperience. They’re willing to be involved, but they don’t exactly know how to help.

Despite the challenges, building relationships with families is worth it!  

4 Ways to Build Strong Teacher to Parent Communication

These 4 simple ideas will help you intentionally lay a foundation for strong teacher to parent communication and make a BIG difference in your classroom!

  1. Back to School Parent Survey
  2. Pencil Box Notes
  3. Photos for Families
  4. Fridge Friend

Back to School Parent Survey

Every child in your class is someone’s whole world! No one knows a child the way that their family does.

As a teacher, this FREE Back to School Parent Survey is an excellent resource to help you learn more about the children in your class. The questions focus on student strengths so you can start the year with positive communication. The questions provide insight that is not usually learned through traditional school forms.

Families love completing this survey! It acknowledges that regardless of their educational background, they are still experts when it comes to their child. It allows them to share information about what makes their child unique and special. They appreciate that you are taking the time to learn about their child’s interests, motivations, and strengths.

Easily deliver your survey by:

  • mailing it to families with a welcome letter
  • distributing it at Back to School events, like “Meet the Teacher”
  • sending it home on the first day of school
  • making extra copies for new students

Pencil Box Notes

Next up— Pencil Box Notes! Ask parents to write a little note and add it to their child’s pencil box.

Prepare Pencil Box Notes in 2 simple steps:

  1. Print the FREE Pencil Box Notes template and send it home to families. 
    1. If you don’t want to cut out the squares, add sticky notes on top. 
  2. Slide the note into an adhesive pouch on the inside of their pencil box lid. 

*Directions for “cubby notes” are also included if you don’t use pencil boxes!

These notes are an easy way for parents to feel included in the classroom even when they can’t be there. By asking parents to write a little note, you show them you value them. It only takes a few minutes, but it makes a big impression on families and kids!

You can have templates ready at your Back to School events or send them home with your students. 

*An option for a second note is included in this FREEBIE too so families know the lines of communication are always open!


Hey There! ❤ Are you ready to get FREEBIES, fun ideas & new resources sent right to your inbox?]

Leave your email below and we’ll send you the good stuff right away!

Photos for Families

On the first day of school, send each family at least one photo of their child. Kids love holding these fun photo booth signs, but any type of picture works! 

Class Dojo is a great option for sending pictures, but there are lots of other classroom apps out there too. 

*Your school district or individual school may have rules on sharing pictures so please reference your handbook to be sure this is an option for you!

When parents receive photos, they can see their child having fun and learning in a positive environment. Opening photos is fun, so families will be more likely to check your communication app in the future. You set a pattern for positive teacher to parent communication.

Fridge Friend

Finally, make your teacher to parent communication easy with Fridge Friend!

Fridge Friend is a reference for families to easily find contact information and login information. 

It also includes literacy and math reference sheets so students have consistent support at school and home. 

Print the Fridge Friend and slide it into a page protector or laminate it before sending it home. Families can add it to their refrigerator and use it all year!

More Ideas to Make Back to School a Breeze

If you’re loving these teacher to parent communication ideas and are searching for more ways to make your Back to School season go smoothly this year, look no further than the Student Supply Bundle!

Check out this post about Back to School Must Haves and learn more about creating take home learning folders, personal word walls, pencil box name tags, and individual math toolboxes

These resources will save you time and simplify classroom organization all year!

Your students and their families are lucky to be working with a teacher who understands the importance of family partnerships. By laying a strong foundation at the beginning of a new year, teacher to parent communication will be easier to maintain. When challenges occur within the classroom, having the support of families makes a big difference! 

How do you build relationships with parents?


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Emily Yerty

I’m a teacher who believes in creating a classroom kids love and activities that keep them engaged all day!

4 Responses

  1. The link for the pencil box notes goes to the Parent Survey. Can you please send me the link or file to the pencil box notes? I love this idea!

  2. I love these parent communication ideas and resources- they are so fun and cute!!! Will definitely be using this year. Thanks so much for sharing!

  3. What great ideas!
    I have just downloaded the parent survey which I think will give me a “snapshot” of the parent’s child.

    Thank you!!

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