How important is parent school communication? Whether you ask parents or school administration, communication will be high on the list of importance for most people.
Communication is a funny thing though. It seems like it should be pretty easy to communicate with people, right? As most of us know this is hardly ever the case. There are so many ways our messages can get lost in translation and so many different personality types.
How do you prefer to communicate with parents? For most schools, the popular communication channels seem to be email, phone, website and some social media. No matter what channels you prefer to use there are 3 secrets to ensuring your communication is top notch.
Implement these 3 secrets and your communication with parents will have a solid foundation.
1. Be Consistent
How do you communicate with parents and how often do you communicate? At the beginning of each year, it's important to set proper expectations with your parents so they know how they will receive information and how often to expect it.
It's not easy to be consistent with communication. It will take some effort and discipline on your part. But, once you make the commitment to communicate to parents with a certain frequency you MUST keep that promise. If you don't, you run the risk of parents losing credibility and confidence in your school.
Being consistent is the first secret on this list for a reason...it's the most important one. Commit to being consistent with your communication and I guarantee you'll see a noticeable difference in the strength of your school communication plan.
2. Be Proactive
A few months ago, I asked my youngest daughter to not touch something in the house because it was fragile. About two hours later I found it broken, on the ground. Sound familiar?
I promptly went to ask her about it. She proceeded to apologize for not listening and promised it wouldn't happen again. This type of thing happens with kids all the time...curiosity tends to get the best of all of us at times. What I stressed to her at the time, was that she should have been proactive and come to me when the item broke, instead of hoping we wouldn't notice.
Communication with parents for your school is similar. Be proactive about communicating the good, bad and the ugly. Being proactive will build credibility with parents and help instill confidence in your school.
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3. Keep It Simple
It's a lot easier to make things complicated than it is to keep them simple. It's a lot of work to boil down anything to its most simple form and communication is no different.
Keeping communication simple and to the point is more critical now than ever. We are all bombarded with an abundance of information on a daily basis.
If you want parents to read and consume the information you communicate, it's really important to keep it simple.
How can you make it simple? I'm glad you asked. Here are a few tips:
- Make information easy to read by using numbered lists, bullet points, and headlines/highlights.
- Before sending something out, ask yourself if this is truly important for parents to know. If you can't answer that with an emphatic "YES" then don't communicate it.
- Keep it short. The more succinct your message the better.
- Don't try to make more than 3-5 points at a time, otherwise, it will all get lost in the shuffle.
- Keep your message uncomplicated and use simple language. Most parents don't know "education speak" so stay away from technical education terms and put it in language that everyone will understand.
Can you improve in any of these 3 areas? I guarantee these 3 secrets can make a huge impact in your communication if you decide to implement them.
Did you find this helpful? Feel free to comment below and share.
P.S. Have you ever thought about using video in your school communication plan? Check out this article for 3 ways to use video in your school communication plan.
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