There is no doubt about it – having strong parent-teacher relationships is surely the key to success when it comes to classroom engagement. When parents are in your corner, everyone wins. So, how do you establish and deepen those positive relationships? We’ve got an idea: Classroom Stories.
What are classroom stories?
Real-time classroom snapshots are an excellent way to showcase your students and inspire their families. Parents love having the ability to witness their child’s victories as they happen; it brightens their day. With ClassTag, we offer a fantastic feature called Stories, which allows teachers to share classroom experiences conveniently with parents right on the app.
You can create a Story right from your home page and add as many pictures or videos as you like (parents love pictures!!). Teachers can post a story to all classroom parents or to just the parents of a single student.
What kind of stories do parents want to see?
Need some ideas to get you started? Here are some photo and video examples that parents would love to see:
- their child working well with others
- perhaps sharing or presenting with a peer or group of students
- their child working well independently
- a hands-on task or worksheet with a strong focus
- their child giving a presentation
- perhaps some show-n-tell or a book report
- their child actively learning
- maybe looking in a microscope or writing on the board
- their child’s project that they are very proud of
- an art project; a technology creation; a test or lesson that was successful
How can stories benefit communication?
When parents receive these heart-felt, thoughtful images of their child, it will serve to be beneficial for multiple reasons. For example, a parent may begin to open up stronger and more positive communication channels between the two of you. Parents may be more apt to volunteer or become more involved in the classroom when they see your hard efforts with their students (and the other students in the class).
If there has been an instance of negative parent-teacher interactions, your story-sharing thoughtfulness may give them a chance to have a change of heart! Sharing stories is a win-win, as long as it’s done correctly.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Sharing Classroom Stories
DO share stories of each student equally when sharing stories to all parents.
DON’T show favorites and continuously feature the same students.
DO share just enough to show the highlights of your classroom experience.
DON’T share too much so that your teaching is interfered.
DO share photos/videos the parents would be proud to see and share.
DON’T share photos or videos that would embarrass the child or the parent.
DO try your best to capture candid photos of your students “in the moment”.
DON’T try too hard to get them to pose perfectly for every photo.
DO focus all of your stories on positive, successful experiences in the classroom.
DON’T use ClassTag stories to notify parents of bad behaviour or negative events.
How Student’s Can Help with Classroom Stories
Whether you teach kindergarten or seniors in high school, there is no doubt that nearly all of your students have had experience with technology. Give them your trust, let them showcase their photography talents, and take one of the many (but necessary) tasks off your hands. Tell them who you want them to capture or what you want them to showcase. Students love to help and love to please their teachers, so use that to your advantage!
The purpose of sharing stories is to share something exciting! With ClassTag, you can communicate with all parents, stay positively connected with them and share your students’ star moments. The more encouraging and positive interactions you can have with your students and with their parents, the better the school year may go for you!