Getting and keeping in touch with students’ families is one of the most important aspects of being a Special Ed teacher. Not only is parent communication important for IEP meetings, but it’s important for building rapport and relationships.
Thankfully, there are messaging platforms to communicate with parents that make it a lot easier to stay in touch. Here are some of the most popular and effective platforms that are used in today’s schools.
Messaging Platforms for Parent Communication
If your district is looking for an all-inclusive, district-wide communication tool, Bloomz is a fabulous option. It gives the district, the school, and teachers one cohesive way to communicate with families. Not only does it make it easier for teachers, but having all of the district’s communication in one location makes it a lot easier for families as well.
Remind was built with students, families, and teachers in mind. It’s a platform that’s easy to adapt to and is free for single classroom use. For more robust features, including translation, a school license is required. One of the benefits is that many families may already be familiar with the platform which makes it easy for them to use or adapt to.
If having automatic reminders sent to parents is a selling point for you, Class Tag is a great option. It’s relatively easy to set up and allows you to track communication and see who has received your messages. It’s a good option for individual family use, as well as class-wide communication. It also allows you to translate messages.
If you need to be able to translate communications with families into a wide variety of languages, Talking Points is a great option. It does a great job of translating Spanish, as well as many other languages – including many African languages.
If you already use Class Dojo for behavior modification in your classroom, using it for parent communication is a simple next step. Families can create a free account to monitor their child’s progress and you are able to communicate with them through the app. If Dojo is not a platform that families frequently use at your school be sure to give detailed instructions on how parents can receive messages and respond to them. You can also translate messages into different languages if that is a need for your students’ families.
If your school already uses the Seesaw platform, using the communication aspect of it to interact with parents is a natural option. It’s a great way to keep all of your school’s learning and communication in one place. There is a cost, so if you are in need of a free option, this may not be the best choice.
Google provides a free voice and texting service called Google Voice. You simply sign-up for a free number and it gets routed to your mobile device. You can text and call from the Google Voice number on your phone and your personal number is never displayed. It’s a great option if you need to call home after school hours.
While many people look for other messaging platforms to use for parent communication, sometimes the simplest is the most effective. Your school email not only provides you with a built-in communication tool, but it’s also easier to keep track of conversations, grab screenshots, etc. The best part? There’s no additional cost for the district.