If you’re like me, then you sometimes have trouble keeping a complete, up-to-date record of your communications with parents. Even though I know it’s important, I used to struggle to find a good way to keep on top of this information. That’s why I created this parent contact log! Using my parent contact log, along with the system I describe below, I have been able to keep a great record of my parent communications. I hope this post can help you do the same!
Why You Need a Parent Contact Log
There are many reasons why teachers need to maintain a parent contact log. It is important for teachers to have this information easily accessible because:
- If a student is being referred for testing, is having major behavior issues, or is struggling academically, you may need to provide information about your communication with his or her parents. You may need to say how often you communicated, what you talked about, and how the parent responded. If you have been using a parent contact log, then all the information is right there for you!
- You may need to remind yourself what conversations you have had with parents before a meeting or conference. (Sometimes it’s hard to remember everything off the top of your head!)
- The parent contact log can help you see patterns in your communication. Are you only calling certain parents about negative things? How frequently are you contacting each parent? Are there topics that come up repeatedly?
- If a parent has an issue or makes a complaint that is untrue (such as saying you never told the parent that his or her child was struggling with reading, when actually you did), then you have documentation of what actually happened. Unfortunately, parents sometimes make false accusations. As a teacher, having complete records is the best way to protect yourself.
An Easy System
Now that you know why it’s important to have a parent contact log, you can use this easy system to maintain it. Just follow these simple steps:
- Print your parent contact log and put it on a clipboard.
- Place a hook on the wall close to your phone and/or computer. Hang your clipboard on the hook.
- Any time you talk to a parent, email with a parent, or get a note from a parent, write it down on your parent contact log (which is hanging on the hook close by!).
- Optional: If your school has an online database that you need to fill out, choose one day each week to add any new communications to it. For example, every Friday during planning (or after school if I had a meeting), I would add any new entries from my clipboard into our online database.
Using this system, you have all your information about parent communications in one place! That way, whenever you need this information, you just grab your clipboard and go. Also, keeping your parent contact log close to where you usually communicate with parents makes it easy to fill your log out right away.