Positive Phone Calls to Parents is Like Money in the Bank!

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By Rita Platt & Maria Gjovig

How many times have you tried calling a parent only to find that they won’t answer? It shouldn’t surprise you. So often the calls parents get from schools are negative. We call to ask for help with poor behavior. We call when homework is not done. We call to remind. We sometimes even call to scold.

It’s time to flip that dynamic and call parents when kids do something good.

Let’s call parents to share good news about their children!

Yes, it takes time, but, it is worth every minute spent and it doesn’t have to be done in one day, one week, or even one month. Make it a goal to call or text two to five families a week to share a kind word about your students. Observe your kiddos as they work and play and jot down any positives you notice.

  • Does the student have a nice smile?
  • Did someone get to class right on time or always come prepared?
  • Did a student ask a good question
  • Did you catch one of your students helping a classmate?
  • Did the student finish an assignment on time?
  • Did a youngster earn an ‘A’ on a difficult project?
  • Did someone make great growth on an assessment?
  • Did one of your readers finish a challenging book?
  • Did a kid tell you a funny story?

Share it!

Once you have something specific and positive to share, start by calling the families of students who may have had phone calls home in the past for doing something wrong. Make sure you tell the students when you call or text their parents. You may be surprised to learn how much it means, to even your seemingly toughest kids, to learn that you care enough to call.

Make it a goal to call or text two to five families a week to share a kind word about your students.

One teacher I know recently shared how he goes about making positive calls:

I carry my cell phone in my pocket. I try to call at least two families per week right in front of my students. If someone does something great, I’ll pull out my phone and ask the kid to dial his mom or dad’s number. Then, right in front of everyone, I will sing his praises. The students love it and all ask if I can call their mom or dad next! It is really motivating. I get lots of return calls and emails from parents telling me how happy it made them. Later, in the year, when I sometimes have to call to share not-so-good news, I think the parents are more receptive to me because they know I care. It is totally worth the extra effort in the long-run.

An added benefit is calling to share good news is that if or when you need to call to ask for support, to remind, to share a negative consequence a student has earned, parents are more likely to answer the phone and listen to you. Positive phone calls breed positive feelings. Positive feelings are like money in the bank.

If you choose to call, but are unsure of what to say, try using the script below or writing your own prompt. If you get voice mail, no problem, leave an upbeat message with instructions for how to reach you.



If you can’t call at all for one reason or another, email, text, or message parents with positive information.  No matter what you do,



and pick up that phone!

Rita Platt (@ritaplatt) is a Nationally Board Certified teacher. Her experience includes teaching learners of all levels from kindergarten to graduate student. She currently is a Library Media Specialist for the St. Croix Falls SD in Wisconsin, teaches graduate courses for the Professional Development Institute, and consults with local school districts.

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