Your students are learning remarkable things and doing incredible work in your classrooms! You know that because you watch them persist through their difficulties and work together to create their finished products. Your colleagues know it because they walk through the hallways and see the work displayed on the walls. Your students’ classmates know it because they hear presentations at celebrations and assemblies throughout the school year. But what about your students’ parents? Do they realize exactly what their children are doing at school and the work they are able to produce?
Sure, you can send work home in folders, but there are always those students who keep coming back with full folders. And of course you can (and should!) share work samples at conferences, but those in-person meetings with parents are just not frequent enough. But that look of surprise on a parent’s face and the question of “Since when can he do that?!” when you show them their child’s work is avoidable!
Sharing pictures with parents is a priceless opportunity to give them insight into their child’s day, progress, and abilities. And the best part is, it doesn’t have to take long! Snap a quick picture and either send it off immediately, or take a minute during your next prep. Below are a few simple ideas and examples to help get you started:
- A “Work In Progress” Photo: Take a picture of your student while he’s working on a project. Not only will this help his parents know what he’s working on, but it will help open up conversation about the child’s day once he gets home.
- A Teamwork Photo: Are your students producing great work AND working well together?! Capture both of these accomplishments in one picture to show their parents the hard and soft skills your students are working on in the classroom!
- A Success Photo: Did your student get an A on that paper she had been working so hard on? Did she ace the spelling test you knew her mom was worried about? Did she finish that art project that has meant so much to her? Take a picture of that final product (or your student holding it!) so that her parents can celebrate her accomplishments as soon as they see her.
- A Presentation Photo: Not only did your student complete a project, but they also presented it in front of the class or another audience – that is something to celebrate! Share this accomplishment with his parents by taking a picture during the event and sending it along!
- A “Today We…” Photo: On the day when your class conducts an unbelievable science experiment, completes a mural, or sees an amazing exhibit on a field trip, take a quick picture (which you’re probably already doing anyway!) While this may not be insight into an individual student’s accomplishments, it lets his parents know what he’s working on and gives them a glimpse into daily life in the classroom!
- BONUS – An Audio Clip: Sometimes a picture just can’t capture everything you’re working on! When your student gives an oral presentation in French or reads a poem aloud or your orchestra class gets through their entire piece without stopping for the first time, record it on your phone and share that with your parents! This will truly help your parents feel like they are part of the classroom community!
Sometimes you’ll want to share these photos with the entire classroom community, while other times may be more private and individualized, meant only for that student’s parents. That is why SchoolCNXT allows you to post to the entire class, or send private in-app messages to just one or a few individuals. Parents will love getting the notification that you have posted a news item or sent a message and you will love seeing the affects that this has. Parents will be more connected to the classroom community, they will be more aware of their child’s abilities and accomplishments, and they will be better equipped to talk their child about what’s happening in the classroom! All of this from just a quick picture!
Emily Williams, SchoolCNXT Editorial Team and former teacher