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Avoiding the Top Teacher-Parent Communication Mistake

As a new teacher, communicating with families can be intimidating. I made a crucial mistake in my parent-teacher communication that led to a flop. In this blog post, I’ll share the #1 teacher-parent communication mistake I made and the key strategy to ensure strong teacher-parent communication from day one.

The Mistake: Having the Wrong Mindset

One of the biggest culprits of communication breakdown is having a “parent” versus “teacher” mindset. I found myself constantly expecting my families to be upset with me, dreading phone calls that might turn into confrontations. During parent-teacher conferences, I focused solely on what I was doing to help their child, without involving the families or providing them with ideas to support learning at home. That’s why it is essential to avoid the teacher-parent communication mistake.

The Fix: Shifting from “Me” to “We”

The solution is simple but powerful: shift your mindset from “Me” to “We.” This change in perspective can make all the difference in your parent-teacher interactions. Instead of seeing yourself as the sole authority, involve families as partners in their child’s education.

Practical Strategies:

  • Initiate conversations with families, presenting challenges as shared problems and seeking their input and ideas for solutions.
  • During parent-teacher conferences, discuss what “we” can do together to support the student’s progress, involving families in the process.
  • Be proactive in positive communication, reaching out to share successes and celebrate student achievements.
  • Approach challenges by explaining the situation and collaborating with families on strategies to support the student both in the classroom and at home.


By shifting your mindset from “Me” to “We,” you can create a more inclusive and supportive environment for teacher-parent communication. This simple change in perspective can significantly impact your relationships with families and enhance your overall teaching experience. If you found this blog post helpful, don’t forget to check out the Ultimate New Elementary Teacher Guide, a free resource answering the top 10 questions about teaching at the elementary level.

Parent Night Series:

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This one thing I did before parent night was a game-changer!

Let’s face it, talking to families can be intimidating. As educators, we spend a lot of time honing our skills to communicate effectively with students. However, engaging with adults is a whole different ball game. With parent night approaching, it’s natural to feel a little nervous. You want to make a good impression and ensure that you and the families are working together as a team for the success of your students. That’s why today, I’m going to share the one thing I did before parent night that was a complete game-changer! Let’s dive in!

So, you want to make a good impression? There’s only one way to do that—make a call.

The Call

But what do you say? I understand that phone calls may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but trust me, it’s worth it. Start by introducing yourself and letting them know that you will be their child’s teacher. Share a little about yourself and three things you love about teaching. Make it personal and relatable. Then, ask if they have any questions or concerns ahead of time. This gives them an opportunity to talk with you privately, especially if parent night is an open-door event. Don’t forget to ask if you can introduce yourself to their child as well. One Fab Teacher, for example, reads stories to her students, which adds a great personal touch.

The Benefits

Making this phone call has numerous benefits. Firstly, it allows parents to speak privately with you, creating a comfortable space for open communication. It breaks the ice before the big night, making the parent-teacher interaction smoother. Moreover, it shows that you genuinely care about the well-being of the students and are willing to take the initiative. Families often receive phone calls for negative reasons, so a positive call like this sets a positive tone for the year ahead.

Wrap Up

I hope you found this tip useful! If you did, be sure to like and subscribe for more valuable insights. To make things easier for you, I’ve created a handy checklist that you can use before parent night. Download it now to ensure a successful and productive evening. Thank you for being an amazing teacher bestie! Bye for now!

Parent Night Series:

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5 Things You Might Be Forgetting to Prepare For Parent Night

Parent night is just around the corner, and with all the tasks on your to-do list, it’s easy to overlook important details. As you set up your classroom and get ready for the first week of school, it’s crucial to ensure you’re fully prepared for parent night. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the five essential things you should prepare for parent night to make a great impression on parents and kickstart a successful school year.

Welcome Letter

The first item on your parent night checklist should be a welcome letter or packet for families. Include information about yourself, how to contact you, your preferred method of communication (such as a class dojo or newsletter), office hours, daily schedule, drop-off and pick-up times, homework schedule, and an overview of what students will be learning throughout the year.

Contact Page/Interest Letter

Another way to prepare for parent night is to create a contact page or interest letter that acts as a communication tool between parents and yourself. Keep a copy for yourself to reference when making love calls or bucket-filling calls. Include details such as who to contact, contact preferences, special interests or hobbies of the student, allergies, drop-off or pick-up arrangements, and any other relevant information.

Student Seat with Board

Next, break the ice with each student by placing a post-it note on their desk. On the board, write a prompt such as “How I feel about starting 2nd grade.” This simple activity allows students to express themselves and creates a positive and welcoming atmosphere.

School Calendar

Don’t forget to bring extra copies of the school calendar to parent night. Include important dates such as school breaks, holidays, parent involvement or volunteer opportunities, upcoming parties, field trips, PTO meetings, and any other relevant events. This ensures parents stay informed and can plan ahead.

Added Bonus

Also, consider providing a supplies list and ask parents to call ahead of time to drop off their child’s supplies and help set up their desks. Decide whether supplies will be communal or assigned to each student in advance. This proactive approach saves time and helps establish an organized classroom environment from the start.

Wrap Up

By including these five essential items in your parent night preparations, you’ll be well-equipped to make a lasting impression on parents and confidently start the school year in the primary grades. Remember, effective parent-teacher communication and a welcoming classroom environment set the stage for a successful partnership between home and school.