Keeping track of parent contact
Keeping track of parent contact is incredibly important, especially for a new teacher. Some schools will even ask for parent contact lists at the end of the school year. Granted, most administrators won’t even look at them unless there is a problem, but you’d better have it!
The first thing to consider are the ways in which you contact parents. Do you email, call, conference, snail mail, etc? All of these forms of contact need to be documented together.
Some schools may provide a parent contact log. If your school does not provide a special format, keep track on your own by creating a document for that purpose.
Each time you contact a parent, go into the document and chronicle the date, who you attempted to contact, why you attempted to contact them, and if contact was made.
Even if you call a house ten times in ten days and no one ever answers, still log those attempted contacts. If you send a letter home in the mail, log that. If you meet with a parent on parent-teacher conference day, log that. If you send out a group email to all parents, log that. Essentially, you are covering your butt here. If a parent gets upset about a student’s grade and calls the administration saying they had no idea that little Johnny was doing so poorly in your class you’ll be able to show how and when you attempted to contact that parent to discuss the issue.
If you cannot do so, you’ll be the one being grounded instead of the student.
Example Parent Contact log (names have been changed to protect the innocent/guilty):
While we’re on the subject of parents, check out my posts on how to handle helicopter/snowplow parents and absentee parents. Also check out this post which has a script to use when calling parents. If you have trouble reaching a parent this resource will be helpful to you.