Written by Kaylin Smith
“When is that event coming up?”
“Are parent-teacher conferences next week?”
“I didn’t know that form was due already.”
While parents want to be involved and up-to-date with their student’s lives, busy schedules and endless responsibilities may prevent them from fully absorbing all the information you send home.
Though long emails are sometimes necessary, parents may feel overwhelmed by essay-like messages that get lost in their inbox and, consequently, end up missing half of the information.
How many times have you opened a lengthy email only to skim it and forget why you were supposed to read it in the first place? By keeping your communication with parents short, effective, and engaging, they’ll be sure to stay informed (and will appreciate you more in the process).
Give it a go yourself and try sending out brief weekly reminders highlighting and reinforcing essential information for parents! Here are some best practices to keep in mind:
Keep It Concise
Avoid wordy, fancy layouts. A crowded message with little open space may discourage parents from reading the entire thing. Stick to the essence of the reminder by using short paragraphs or utilizing bullet points to highlight key ideas and events.
List the Most Time-Sensitive Information First
If you have to write a long message, be sure to list the most important points first. If parents stop reading the email midway through, at least they’ll have the need-to-know information down.
Be Clear With What You Need From Them
Instead of letting parents draw their own conclusions, be upfront with what you need them to do in order to support their child. Telling them exactly what you need will limit any confusion and make overall communication more enjoyable and efficient!
Utilize Your Subject Line
Be specific with your subject line too. Include an upcoming event or an essential due date to grab the reader’s attention and reinforce important information.
Optional: Include a Weekly Student Favorite or Personal Anecdote
Did something exciting or funny happen in class that week? Quote a student’s favorite moment from the week prior at the end of your message! Ask parents to respond in the comments section with their own child’s favorite moment and highlight a new one in each week’s email. This fun addition will get parents talking to their students, teachers, and other fellow parents!
Below are some example “Monday Memo” messages to send to your district, school or classroom community.
Pssst…want to take your memo to the next level? If you’re a ParentSquare user, you can include actionable items like signups for your latest potluck, the field trip form for science camp, a class poll on the next book club theme, or any other attachment you can dream of straight in ParentSquare!
Using clear, friendly communication is an excellent way to make sure your reminders are heard, understood, and taken to heart. By providing simple weekly updates, parents are sure to feel included and engaged in their students lives — improving parent, student, and teacher interactions all-around! Taking five minutes out of your day to write a simple update can work wonders.
How will you draft your next Monday Memo?
Check out our other template, 5 Minute Friday.