A few ways I make students and families feel comfortable in my room are:
1. send home letters/post cards towards the end of summer
2. have a back to school night/getting to know your teacher time before school starts
3. make phone calls to each family within the first two weeks of school to introduce myself (if need be) and let them know how their student is being successful in the classroom
4. send home notes through the mail throughout the year addressed to the student praising them and making them feel special about their hard work and accomplishments (I usually alternate and try to contact the family once a quarter. Quarter 1 and 3 with phone calls and Quarters 2 and 4 through a quick note in the mail)
After visiting a former colleague this last week, I was motivated by her because she had started writing out her postcards to her future students. Thanks Sara, for always keeping me on the ball and challenging me! Here is a copy of my back to school letter. Usually I send post cards, but since I moved to a new town, new school, I figured families would like to know a bit more about me and my family.
What strategies do you use to connect with students and families?