As a teacher, I know that being able to communicate with parents is an essential part of the job. Having a good rapport with parents ensures that everyone is on the same page regarding each student and their education, progress, and well-being. It helps to determine the best method of classroom management, as teachers can have a better understanding of a child’s needs.
That’s why having a Parent Communication Log is so valuable. It helps me to stay organized when contacting parents, reminding me which concerns we have discussed. A Parent Contact Log is also excellent to have on hand for school outings or field trips so that parents can be easily contacted.
Table of Contents
- 1 Parent Contact Logs
- 2 What is a Parent Contact Log?
- 3 Parent Communication Logs
- 4 Why is a Parent Communication Log important?
- 5 Communication Log Templates
- 6 What should be included in a Parent Contact Log?
- 7 Parent Call Logs
- 8 What is the best way for teachers to communicate with parents?
- 9 Free Parent Contact Logs
- 10 How to Create a Parent Communication Log
There are a range of uses for Parent Contact Logs, and each contact log will look different. That’s why we offer free Parent Communication Log templates for you to download and print. You can then input all of the information as you contact parents.
Parent Contact Logs
What is a Parent Contact Log?
A Parent Contact Log (often known as a Parent Communication Log) contains important contact details for each student’s parents or carers, so you can easily reach them if there are any issues. A Parent Communication Log is used as a record of your contact with different parents.
For example, if you contact Student A’s parents about a behavior concern, then you can easily record this in the student log, and even make notes about the conversation. This is useful for many reasons.
Firstly, it ensures that you are actively contacting parents and being proactive when there is a behavior or academic concern with a student. Communicating with parents is vital to encourage good behavior from students. These phone calls also let parents know about a particular incident that has happened and if any further action is needed on their behalf.
Secondly, recording conversations with parents in a written format helps to keep both parents and teachers accountable. If there are safeguarding concerns, such as a parent not responding to concerns or ignoring phone calls, this can be logged easily in the Parent Communication Log. As teachers, student safety should be our number one priority, so using a Parent Communication Log helps you to keep track of when discussions with parents are had and if any further action needs to be taken in regard to safeguarding.
Parent Communication Logs
Why is a Parent Communication Log important?
- Necessary in an Emergency
There are certain situations where it is vital that parents can be contacted easily. It is a teacher’s duty to keep their students safe, and having emergency contact details on hand easily in a Parent Communication Log is part of this duty.
Parents, carers, or guardians of students should always provide their emergency contact details, should something unfortunate happen to their child. Emergency contact details should include a daytime phone number and an e-mail address. Ideally, their work and home address should also be included if they cannot be contacted.
- A Record of Conversation
Keeping a record of each contact with parents helps you to remember when you last contacted them. Teachers are incredibly busy, and it can be easy to forget when you last spoke with a specific parent, or what the last conversation was about.
A Parent Communication Log makes this far less stressful, as the document of each conversation can be viewed clearly on the template. It saves you from fumbling through lots of different forms from previous conversations, too.
If you teach a student with specific behavior concerns who needs particular attention, then a Parent Communication Log also works extremely well. It allows you to see how often parents have been notified of incidents and you can track how the student has progressed based on conversations with parents, too.
- Improves Student Behavior and Academic Progress
Working with parents is proven to be an effective method to improve students’ behavior and help their academic progress. Parents are the first step on the ladder of helping students to improve. As they will see their child every day and at their most vulnerable moments, it is essential that communication with parents is regular so that they are aware of how their child behaves at school.
Communication with parents also helps parents to recognize how their child is progressing, whilst teachers will have a better insight into how that child responds to certain situations. This can vastly improve student behavior and also help teachers to determine the best method for classroom management.
If a student is absent from school or a field trip without a reason, then it is important that parents are contacted as soon as possible. A Parent Contact Log makes it easy to see parents’ contact details and find the best way to reach them.
Communication Log Templates
What should be included in a Parent Contact Log?
There are several key details to include in a Parent Communication Log. Depending on why you are using a Parent Communication Log, your contact log may include different information or more columns. You can easily edit our Parent Communication Log templates to suit your purpose.
However, each Parent Communication Log should include basic information, such as:
- The student’s name
- Their parents’ or guardians’ names
- Their cell phone numbers
- Their work phone numbers
- Their email addresses
You may choose to have two separate Parent Communication Logs. One could include basic contact details, whilst the second Parent Communication Log could include a record of any contact with the parents, along with notes for more detail.
A more detailed Parent Communication Log may include:
- The date of contact
- The method of contact (phone or email)
- The concern raised with parents (behavior, academic, other)
- Any notes or key points from the conversation
Parent Call Logs
What is the best way for teachers to communicate with parents?
I know that many teachers are anxious about speaking with parents. Even experienced teachers can dread calling parents or having a parent-teacher meeting. It can be daunting having to explain to a parent that their child is not performing well in school, and parent communication can seem like a difficult skill for teachers to master.
Building good relationships with parents is crucial to helping students make progress and improving student behavior, so contacting parents is a task that shouldn’t be avoided regardless of how nervous you may feel.
However, there are ways to approach these discussions that can make it a more pleasant experience for both teachers and parents, and overall improve parent communication.
- Maintain a respectful, warm tone
Although you may find their child to be disruptive or rude, parents deserve to be spoken to in a respectful, gentle way. This will immediately set a positive tone for the conversation. Keep your voice calm and try to speak slowly, as this will demonstrate confidence without seeming like you are patronizing or demeaning the parents. You want to show parents that you are here to support their child and want the best for them, and this should be voiced in the conversation.
- Remember to work as a team
It is not you vs. the parents. Parent-teacher relationships work best when both parties work together. You can use words such as ‘we’ instead of ‘I’ to highlight how you will both benefit from the student improving their behavior and making changes. You should gently emphasize that you are working together and this is not an attack on their parenting or their child. Essentially, teacher and parents should want the best for the child, so working together to solve the problem will be the only solution.
- Listen carefully and show that you appreciate the parents’ involvement
Good communication starts with being a good listener. Especially if you’re nervous, it can be easy to talk a lot or talk quickly. This can be overwhelming for parents, and also shows that you aren’t letting them share their thoughts either. Take time to listen carefully and show that you appreciate the parents’ input and them responding to your call in the first place. This further shows how you will work together to solve the problem.
- Consider potential outcomes and document this in the communication log
This is essential for improving an individual student’s behavior. As a team, you and the parent should consider the best outcome for the situation and discuss ways that this can be achieved. For future reference, remember to document this in the communication log.
- Don’t engage in arguments or respond to rude comments
Generally, I find that parents are very responsive and willing to help in any way they can if their child is not performing. However, on rare occasions, some parents may not respond so nicely. If a parent starts arguing with you or speaking about you in a rude way, then you should calmly end the conversation.
The parent may be having a bad day or feeling frustrated with the situation, and if you engage with negative comments then you will only make the situation worse. Keep calm and, if you can, speak to your manager to help you rearrange a conversation with the parent or navigate the situation differently.
Simple tips to improve parent-teacher communication:
- Always stick to the assigned time for contact. If you have arranged to call a parent at 3 pm, for example, then make sure you don’t forget or call them late. This will look very unprofessional and create a bad impression.
- Keep a record of each time you contact parents in a Parent Communication Log. Not only will this help you to remember when you last spoke to them, but it will also keep you accountable if you say that a specific outcome will take place based on the conversation.
- Be positive when you speak with parents. Even if a student is causing you a lot of issues in class, try to find something positive to say to keep a warm tone to the conversation. Parents will not respond well if you simply criticize their child for the whole conversation.
Free Parent Contact Logs
How to Create a Parent Communication Log
Parent Communication Logs are used for regular communication with parents, and should therefore be easy to use. You can create your own Parent Communication Log, or download and print a Parent Communication Log template.
If you choose to create your own Parent Communication Log, you can use paper or an online tool such as Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel.
- Create columns for each section of the Parent Communication Log
Your columns should include key headings, such as ‘Student Name,’ ‘Name of Parents,’ ‘Phone Number,’ and ‘Notes from the Meeting.’ The columns should be long enough to contain all of the students in your class and their parents’ details, so make sure to create columns with enough space.
- Add rows to include all of the contact details and notes from each conversation
Rows should also be large enough to contain all of the information.
- Finalize your Parent Communication Log using color or images
One of the most efficient ways I organize Parent Contact Logs is through color. I will color-block each column so that I can clearly find information. For example, the column for student names will be highlighted in yellow, and parents’ contact details will be highlighted in blue. If you have a large class or a new class, you could use a photo of each student next to their name to make communication even easier.
- Write all of the information in the Parent Communication log as you meet with parents
Whether you speak to parents through phone calls or face-to-face meetings, write down all of the information from the discussion with parents so that this is documented for future reference. You can then use this information to decide on an appropriate outcome for the student.
- Keep your Parent Communication Log in an easy-to-reach place
I keep my Parent Contact Logs for each class in a ring binder so that I can easily find them. You may wish to have an online and physical copy of each Parent Contact Log, for access to contact details at all times.
You can download a free parent communication log template to help document each conversation with parents. Our free parent communication logs make meeting with parents a lot easier, as there is space to document all of the information from the conversation, including which specific concerns were raised.