Communicating With Parents

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  • Lesson Identification and TEKS Addressed

    Cluster : Education and Training

    Course : Practicum in Education and Training

  • TEKS Student Expectations

    • (1) The student explores the teaching and training profession. The student is expected to:
      • (A) assess personal characteristics needed to work in the teaching and training profession;
    • (3) The student communicates effectively. The student is expected to:
      • (A) assess the effectiveness of personal verbal, non-verbal, written, and electronic communication skills;
      • (B) communicate effectively in situations with educators and parents or guardians;
      • (C) evaluate the role of classroom communications in promoting student literacy and learning; and
      • (D) integrate effective communication skills in teaching or training.
    • (9) The student continues development as a teaching or training professional. The student is expected to:
      • (A) identify strategies and resources for the professional development of educators or trainers;
  • Basic Direct Teach Lesson

    Instructional Objectives

    Students will:

    • practice using proper and effective communication
    • establish comfort in communicating with parents
    • identify positive contact methods
    • identify what should be on a teacher’s web page
  • Rationale


    How would you feel if I told you that I would be calling your parents today? (Discuss) Why do you feel this way? Do you typically feel that a parent contact is negative or positive? Why? Part of the job of a teacher is to communicate effectively with parents. Unfortunately, it seems as though the majority of this contact is negative. Today, we’ll talk about how to address those situations as well as ways to communicate positive messages to parents.

  • Duration of Lesson

    One to two 45 minute class periods.

  • Word Wall

    Communication: Process by which ideas, feelings, and information are shared. It involves the skills of listening, speaking, careful reading and writing

    Listening: An important part of communication. The listener receives the message and then interprets it. A good listener makes an effort to clearly understand the message

    Passive listening: Occurs when person receiving information provides responses that invite the speaker to share opinions and ideas. The passive listener may hear the words without listening for meanings

    Active listening: Requires the listener to understand what the speaker actually means. An active listener repeats what the speaker says to make sure the content of the message is clearly understood. Feedback is the response a person gets to a message sent

    Two-way communication: Occurs when the speaker and the listener both provide feedback

    One-way communication: Occurs when the person conveying information cannot obtain feedback

    Non-verbal communication: Communicating messages through gestures and body movements

    Perception: How one selects, organizes, and interprets information

    Self-disclosure: Occurs when people voluntarily tell others information about themselves that the other party is unlikely to know or discover from other sources

  • Materials/Specialized Equipment Needed


    • computer with projector
    • computers with internet access and word processing for each student

    Copies of Handouts:

    • Communicating with Parents Cornell Notes
    • Communicating with Parents KWL
    • Communicating with Parents Project
    • Communicating with Parents Rubric
  • Anticipatory Set

    Show the video clip from schooltube with a cartoon example of a parent conference.

    Discuss as a class.

  • Direct Instruction with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Have students individually complete the first two columns of Communicating with Parents KWL chart (see All Lesson Attachments tab).

    Use slide presentation Communicating with Parents (see All Lesson Attachments tab) to lead discussion about communication. Presentation Notes on Communicating with Parents (see All Lesson Attachments tab) are provided to assist you with dialogue. Students may utilize the Communicating with Parents Cornell Notes (see All Lesson Attachments tab) while following along with presentation.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • provide student with a copy of the presentation
    • allow extra time for responses
    • individual assistance, as needed
    • allow group or work with partners

  • Guided Practice with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Answer any questions that students may have over the presentation.

    Group students into teams of two. Each team will prepare and present two mock parent conferences. Allow teams to create their own teacher/parent scenarios. One scenario must include a parent calling for the meeting, the second scenario must revolve around the teacher calling the meeting. Allow time for planning and rehearsing the scenarios. Monitor planning time by interacting with teams, asking guiding questions, making suggestions and sharing personal experiences.

    Teams will take turns acting out their scenario. Allow time for discussion and suggestions for improvement.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • allow extra time
    • individual assistance, as needed
    • partner student with another of a higher level

  • Independent Practice/Laboratory Experience with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Scenario: You have been hired for your first teaching job. You have been asked by your principal to develop a “welcome letter” that will be sent to parents prior to the beginning of school. In addition you are to create a personal web page that can be accessed by students and teachers at any time.

    Distribute and thoroughly Communicating with Parents Project and Communicating with Parents Rubric (see All Lesson Attachments tab) so that each student has a written copy of the instructions in addition to what you have verbally explained to them. There are a variety of free website pages available online to assist students in developing their personal teacher web page..

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • allow extra time
    • allow partner work
    • correct spelling and grammar but do not deduct points

  • Lesson Closure

    Review lesson objectives, terms and definitions.

    Students will complete the last column of their Communicating with Parents KWL (see All Lesson Attachments tab), as well as the summary portion of their Communicating with Parents Cornell Notes (see All Lesson Attachments tab.)

    Have students share ideas of ways that teachers can promote positive interaction with parents.

  • Summative/End of Lesson Assessment with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Student welcome letter and personal teacher website will be assessed with Communicating with Parents Rubric (see All Lesson Attachments tab).

  • References/Resources


    • Kato, Sharleen L. _Teaching._Goodheart-Wilcox, 2010. 229-234. Print.
    • _Putting It All Together Education and Training_The Curriculum Center for Family and Consumer Sciences Texas Tech University. 232 – 237, 279-280.


  • Additional Required Components

    English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS) Strategies

    • word wall
    • KWL
    • reading and editing
  • College and Career Readiness Connection

    AchieveTexas Career Cluster Crosswalks

    The Career Cluster Crosswalks housed on the AchieveTexas website provide Texas teachers with a direct connection between their CTE course TEKS and the College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS). Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, and Cross-Disciplinary integration are the focus of the CCRS. These college and career readiness standards are essential in the planning and delivery of CTE lessons. The extent to which the integration occurs is determined by the methods and strategies utilized by each teacher.

    Career Cluster Crosswalks for Education and Training, Hospitality and Tourism, and Human Services Career Clusters can be found at:

  • Recommended Strategies

    Reading Strategies

    Have students read and edit each other’s welcome letters and personal teacher web pages prior to submitting..

    Students can also locate, read and evaluate the webpages of teachers on their own campus.

  • Quotes

    The problem with communication is the illusion that is has occurred.
    -George Bernard Shaw

    The way we communicate with others and with ourselves ultimately determines the quality of our lives
    -Anthony Robbins

    Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people.
    -William Butler Yeats

  • Multimedia/Visual Strategies

    PowerPoint ™

    • Communicating with Parents


  • Graphic Organizers/Handout

    Graphic Organizer:

    • Communicating with Parents Cornell Notes


    • Communicating with Parents KWL
    • Communicating with Parents Project
    • Communicating with Parents Rubric
  • Writing Strategies

    Journal Entries:

    • If I were a teacher, I would begin the year by…
    • I think ______________ (teacher’s name) is good at family communication because…

    Writing Strategy:

    • RAFT (Role/ Audience/Format/Topic)

    Role: Teacher
    Audience: Parents
    Format: Letter
    Topic: Welcome and introduction

    You are a teacher who would like to send a welcome / introduction letter home to parents on the first day of school.

  • Communication 90 Second Speech Topics

    • In order to be a teacher who communicates well, I need to do these things to be better prepared.
    • I feel that our principal should have our teachers ___________ to become more effective at communicating because …
  • Other Essential Lesson Components

    Enrichment activity

    Students can identify teachers who do not currently have an active or updated website. Students can assist in creating/updating web pages for campus instructors.

  • Family/Community Connection

    Students can interview their parents about how they feel about teacher communication. Students and parents can brainstorm ways to enhance the parent – teacher communication.
    Students can compile a list of suggestions from parent interviews and present suggestions to the principal.

  • CTSO connection

    Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA)

    Power of One Project: A Better You – Improve personal traits. Students would work on qualities/characteristics identified as needing improvement

    Interpersonal Communications—an individual or team event, recognizes participants who use Family and Consumer Sciences and/or related occupations skills and apply communication techniques to develop a project designed to strengthen communication in a chosen category: community, employment, relationships, family, peer groups, or school groups.

  • Service Learning Projects

    Successful service learning project ideas originate from student concerns and needs. Allow students to brainstorm about service projects pertaining to lesson. For additional information on service learning see:

    Possible idea:
    Students can identify teachers who do not currently have an active or updated website. Students can assist in creating/updating web pages for teachers on their campus.

  • All Attachments