Teachers should strive to communicate regularly with parents to not only keep them aware of their child's progress in class, but also to keep them involved in the child's overall education. Involved parents make a positive difference in a child's academic career. When drafting a parent meeting letter, include positive feedback about the child, extend a meeting invitation and offer alternatives to meeting in person.
Determine the purpose of the meeting and communicate that purpose in the letter. Busy parents appreciate a clear indication of why you are requesting an in-person meeting, especially if the meeting is to take place during business hours.
Be professional. Use a formal greeting and business-letter format. Include the date at the start of the letter and your full contact information at the end. Leave room for your signature and sign the letter by hand.
Open with positive remarks about the student. Often students and parents assume communication from a teacher contains bad news. Include positive feedback on the child's performance in class, her behavior or, at least, her personality. If the student has challenges in all three areas, find something else to compliment. Every kiddo has at least one positive attribute.
Do not address specific concerns in the letter. If you have academic or behavioral concerns, do not explicitly say so or list these concerns in a written letter. Simply mention you have concerns you would like to discuss in-person with the parent.
Offer multiple in-person meeting times and ask parents to indicate their top three choices. Often teachers try to schedule multiple parent meetings in the same day or week. List the dates and times you are available and provide a small line in front of each option. Ask parents to indicate their first, second and third preferred meeting times, and to have the student return the letter to you.
Offer a phone conference as an alternative. Some parents might not be able to meet in-person because of work or other scheduling conflicts. Include in the letter times when you are available to do a phone conference with the parent, as an alternative to meeting in person.
- "The First Days of School: How to be an Effective Teacher"; Harry K. Wong and Rosemary T. Wong; 2009
- Scholastic; 9 Techniques for Building Solid Parent-Teacher Relationships; Kechia Williams
- Sevier County Special Education: How's and Why's of Effective Teacher-Parent Communication
- Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images