Communication was once limited to snail mail and telephones calls, without the option of call waiting. Technology has expanded our options for communication, and we now have call waiting, voicemail, email, and social media avenues. Before all of the technological advances it was difficult for teachers to communicate with parents about their students. A teacher’s limited time was focused on students who may have needed remediation or intervention because it was difficult to make contact with parents. Now teacher’s are encouraged to use various forms of technology to communicate with parents. They can communicate through email for student specific information, or through school programs for mass communication. Social media sites can keep parents in the loop with what is going on in class. The ease of online communication allows teachers to send positive messages about students instead of having to spend countless hours trying to get in touch with a parent of an at-risk student.
When it comes to students who are receiving a failing grade on a report card, teachers should have been in communication with these parents prior to report cards going home. The article Parent Communication Tom Whitby discusses the importance of the teacher understanding the whole child. There is no better way to gain an understanding of the whole child, than through speaking with their parents. If you are a parent, you know that there are times when your child will act one way in school, and the second they get home they turn into someone else. Children are not always going to express areas of confusion in school, but they will cry about them at home. Through communication with parents, often times failing grades can be avoided, and teacher’s can no longer use the excuse that they have tried to no avail to contact a student’s parents.
Nearpod is a very beneficial tool to incorporate into classroom lessons. It can also be used to create presentations for professional development. There are so many resources available for you to choose from, and there is also the option to create your own interactive lesson for students. The opportunities to engage students seem endless. There are pre-assessments, quizzes, drawing opportunities, games, polls, open-ended discussion questions, videos, and more. Some teachers even use the assessments at the end of lessons as practice grades, or ways to gauge where the class is with a certain topic. Teachers can gain access to Nearpod lessons for free; however, access is limited with simply a free account. I suggest getting your school or district on board with Nearpod, so that you can gain access to all it has to offer.