Letters to Parents
Sending Letters Home to Parents
Writing a Letter to Parents and Guardians
In the beginning of the school year, it is very important to introduce yourself to not only the students but to their parents and guardians as well. Some teachers like to do this in the profile of their website, but I cannot confirm that all of the families in my district have a computer or internet access.
Sending home a letter in the first week of school allows you to introduce yourself and the subject matter along with other vital information, as well as opening the lines of communication between you and parents or guardians.
Read below for an example.
Start with an introduction. Let parents know who you are!
Explain the class and what the students will be learning.
If you send anything else home with students along with the letter, tell the parents. Sometimes these other documents get lost in other first day materials.
Give parents a way to contact you. It would be really easy to keep this on their fridge than having to look up the information every time they needed to speak with you. Plus, if you make the first contact (i.e. this letter), you're reaching out to them and letting them know you're available if they need to speak with you.
Sign the letter! It gives it a personal touch.
What to Write in the Letter to Parents
I send a letter home the very first day of school. The content of the letter was as follows:
Dear Parents and Guardians,
Hello! My name is [insert name here ] and I will be your student’s Language Arts teacher this year. I am really looking forward to working with you, and I am excited to help your student succeed in my class.
Eighth Grade Language Arts is focused on improving writing skills. Throughout the year we will be exploring the different types of writing and the writing process. We also will be focusing on spelling skills and grammar units throughout the year.
I have given your son or daughter two important documents. The first document includes a set of guidelines that explains how the students can have the most positive learning experience in my classroom. The second document explains my grading policy. Please take a moment and review both items given to your student. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, feel free to contact me.
I thank you in advance for your cooperation. Again, I am really looking forward to this year and the fun we will have. If you would like to contact me, the school’s phone number is 555-555-5555. Also, you can email me through the school website, www.anyschool.com. I will gladly answer any questions you may have. Thank you!
[Insert name and signature ]
One More Piece for the Parent Letter
At the bottom of the paper, I included a section that was to be brought back to me signed by the parents or guardians along with their contact information. I did this for a few reasons: I made sure that the parents read the letter, I obtained the method in which they wanted to be contacted, I could check suspicious signatures on other documents and, should an issue arise concerning how I grade, I could remind the parents that they received the grading policy along with the letter they signed at the beginning of the year. Another nice thing about this piece is that not only will the parents or guardians write their names, they will write the name, including last name, of their son or daughter, which is often different due to a variety of reasons. It also, as you will see below, encourages parents to sit for a minute with their children to go over the documents that accompany the letter.
It reads as follows:
Please sign this portion and return to me no later than [insert date ]. If you have a preference of how you would like to be contacted if a question arises, please list the preference below. Thank you!
I have read and reviewed with my son or daughter the guidelines and grading policy for [insert name ‘s] class.
Son’s or Daughter’s name:__________________________
Contact information: Phone #:________________Email :___________
Send those letters!
Sending a letter home to parents is a nice way to introduce you, your class, your guidelines and your grading policy. Some people would skip this and just have a profile on a webpage; for me, it was a way of physically knowing that the parents or guardians of my students took the time with their children to read my letter and the important documents that were sent home with it.
Have a great school year!
KimberleyMarshall from Detroit, MI on August 12, 2012:
As someone who is going to be an educator soon; I cannot believe the amount of electronic introduction that goes on now. When I was in school (which was not all that long ago) I always had letters to bring home the first week. I feel like that first physical piece of communication is the best way to start the learning process. Something a lot of parents and students are missing now is the fact that the learning process is a full family experience. If there is a weak link in that chain the student may not be as successful. Thanks for sharing! I enjoyed reading!
LearnFromMe (author) on March 26, 2012:
nightcrawler123, I agree: a good relationship between parents and teachers is crucial for a student's academic success. Thank you for your comment.
(Note: Please stop leaving the link in the comments. It is stated below the comment box that promoting other sites in a comment is not permitted. Thanks!)
nightcrawler123 on March 24, 2012:
I like that you write a letter home to parents, and I like that you leave your telephone number so that they can reach out to you. The teacher-parent piece is crucial for student success!
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LearnFromMe (author) on September 19, 2011:
ktrapp, the letter would be great for coaches too; you're right! Thanks for reading and commenting.
Kristin Trapp from Illinois on September 19, 2011:
I remember a lot of my kid's teachers doing this, especially in the elementary and middle school years. I always appreciated the personal touch, as well as providing my specific contact information. This is very useful information for all teachers and it would be a great idea for coaches too.
LearnFromMe (author) on August 22, 2011:
Krammars,I'm glad you feel that all educators should try writing a letter home to parents. Thanks for commenting!
Krammars on August 22, 2011:
This is excellent advice. All educators should try this!
LearnFromMe (author) on August 11, 2011:
Tracie Morris, thanks so much for reading and for your kind comment. It's important to open the lines of communication early on in the year. It sets the tone with parents and let's them know you are available. Thanks again!
Tracie Morris from Fort Plain, New York on August 10, 2011:
I wish more teachers did this. Especially when kids enter grades where they have more than one class or teacher. I have meant a lot of teachers over the years and there are some who really care and some who are only in it for the paycheck. This kind of letter shows a teacher who really cares and opens the line of communication right away.
Voted up and useful.
LearnFromMe (author) on August 02, 2011:
LeslieAdrienne, thank you for your kind comment!
Leslie A. Shields from Georgia on August 01, 2011:
Absolute wisdom from above.... Setting a foundation for the school year with parents and students is essential... Have a great school year as well.