This whole process became a lot more streamlined when we began using the parent-teacher communication app Bloomz, which we started using as part of a pilot program through the Ohio American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in early 2017. With the pilot, we were able to share information about a wide range of topics, including how to reduce sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), constructive disciplining, screen-time management, and reading to children, directly to parents’ smartphones.
Paperless communication allows us so much more flexibility and speed when it comes to contacting parents and families. We now encourage parents to message us electronically, so we get a notification on our classroom app and can get back to them in a timely manner. We post the children’s artwork and writing from around the classroom on a daily basis, as well as pictures of the kids.
We can also collect all of these materials into a portfolio for each child. Parents now get reminders on their phones the night before extra activities such as gym, art, and music. I think the parents are happy to have a specific place where they can view pictures of their children doing activities throughout the day, and like and comment on posts in the same they do on Facebook.
Connecting Parents and Children
Since the switch to paperless communication, I’ve noticed an interesting difference in behavioral issues with my children at pick-up. I think it is because, instead of a parent reading what we did that day as they pick up their child, they come in the classroom already knowing what we did from reading the posts, and this makes the child feel more connected with their parents.
I also had a student who was out sick when we cut open a pumpkin and cleaned it out. The child came back to school the next day and told us his mom showed him the pictures we had posted and she then went out and got a pumpkin and did the activity as a family that night.
It’s become common to hear our children ask, “Are you going to post that?” after we take a picture of them. After all, every kid wants their parents to pay attention to them. (“Watch me, mom!”) And every parent wants to know what their child is doing during the day. Parents and children are the most important people in each other’s lives, so it’s vital to keep them connected, especially in the early years.
We live in a world full of new technology that can keep parents and children more connected than they’ve ever been, so why wouldn’t we take advantage of every opportunity?
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