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Positive emails to parents

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by rebecca88888, Nov 10, 2017.

  1. rebecca88888

    rebecca88888 New commenter

    I've had a few behavioural problems in my classes over the past half-term, and I'd like to counteract the negative 'vibes' with some positivity. A colleague has advised me to send a positive email to the parents of a couple of pupils in each class every half-term. I'm really keen to do this because I think it's great for the pupils to be rewarded for work/effort and also to feel they're being acknowledged and not just forgotten among the 'negative' behaviour management of some of the other pupils. (Apologies for the clumsy wording, I'm exhausted!)

    My question is just whether this could lead to accusations of favouritism. I was planning to pick one boy and one girl from each class on the basis of grades, class effort/participation, and general behaviour, but I don't want those who are almost equally as good to feel 'left out' if their friend's parents receive an email and theirs don't. I'd plan obviously to email different sets of parents each half-term, but obviously as this will be the first time I've done it the pupils won't yet know this, and I don't want to create discord among the group. The idea is to motivate & reward, rather than the opposite!

    Has anyone been in a similar position before?
     
  2. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    I know it's Friday but are you over-thinking this?

    It shouldn't be a discussion or have an appeals process attached to it.

    Dear Mr and Mrs Thingy,

    Your boy's done good this week. Very pleased with progress/attitude.....etc.

    Yours
    Rebecca

    Given that it'll be a near identical email can't you do 2 every Friday and make it this week (your feeling, rather than grades).
     
    gravell likes this.
  3. elder_cat

    elder_cat Established commenter

    Give each pupil a number.
    Put the numbers onto pices of paper, fold and place in a pot.
    Get 2 students at random to pick to 2 pieces of paper.
    Send emails to the parents of the students whose numbers were picked.
     
    raspberrysouffle and pepper5 like this.
  4. rebecca88888

    rebecca88888 New commenter

    Haha, yes - I do have a tendency to over-think! I could do it every week but I'm in an international school where class sizes are small and contact with parents is quite rare, so I don't want to 'bother' the parents by over-frequent emails. I suppose I could just do it once until everyone's had a turn, but then I also wanted to use it as a rare 'treat' that only came once every so often. Definitely am overthinking things.
     
  5. rebecca88888

    rebecca88888 New commenter

    Ooh, not a bad idea - thank you! But would this also include the 'naughty' pupils?
     
  6. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    Now I'm over-thinking it. Need more weekend beer....

    I get the occasional one idea but then you'll spend ages trying to justify your idea (and just to yourself).

    Every so often say to yourself. I'll reward someone...... errmmm.....she'll do. Send off the email and then forget about it until the next light bulb fires.
     
  7. rebecca88888

    rebecca88888 New commenter

    Great. Thank you! :)
     
  8. elder_cat

    elder_cat Established commenter

    Could do...equality at work.:)
    You never know, it might even encourage them to be bit less naughty, if they feel someone thins something good about them.:)
    Or not, as the case may be:D
     
  9. rebecca88888

    rebecca88888 New commenter

    Thanks for your reply!
     
  10. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    I would perhaps send post cards home instead of emails.

    The children then have the post cards to keep and put up on the fridge as a reminder of their good work.
     
  11. pennyh.

    pennyh. Occasional commenter

    Whatever you decide remember you will have to continue with it-so think hard about the workload which will soon be regarded as a right and not you giving a bit more. Also make sure you keep a record- even a postcard-photocopy it. Postcards have an advantage they cannot be pinged onwards by a parent.
     
    JohnJCazorla and pepper5 like this.
  12. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Also postcards will have a picture on it and it is the personal touch. You don't have to send them out that often - perhaps once a month or whenever. Sometimes, you might want to phone; but I do agree with pennyh that you think about the workload.
     
  13. sarah_dann1

    sarah_dann1 Occasional commenter TES Behaviour peer advisor

    Postcards would be wonderful to keep it a treat.

    Positive emails or phone calls are so important!

    Definitely do it. This works especially well with 'naughty' pupils! Their parents are often horribly used to picking up the phone to a negative call that they are so grateful when you bother to tell them something positive.

    I'd avoid worrying about everyone getting a chance or it being one boy/girl. It's ok to be honest about it but give all kids a fair chance. For example, a child who is really challenging may get a positive email for something less than you'd expect from someone else. I don't think this is unfair - simply giving those difficult children a chance as they may never have a perfect lesson! When someone meets their own targets or works particularly hard, send the positive email straight away. I think it's better to be more immediate than a regular monthly as then the children know directly what they did that was good.

    We should all send more positive communication!
     
    pepper5 likes this.
  14. ScienceGuy

    ScienceGuy Established commenter

    I have been sending positive emails home to parents of students in my more difficult classes this year. One student, who last year never did any homework and was regularly on report because of it, has had a completely different attitude this year and his mother was delighted to hear from me. It only takes a couple of minutes to send an email home but, for the student, it can have a much longer lasting impact
     
    JosieWhitehead and pepper5 like this.
  15. Skeoch

    Skeoch Lead commenter

    I agree. Fond memories of one parent who was stunned to receive a positive phone call from me after the boy had got things very right for a change. She explained that she dreaded phone calls from me as they usually brought bad news. This was a bit of a turning point for him, too.
     
    pepper5 likes this.
  16. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    It makes the teacher feel too too - or anyway, it does me.
     
    gravell likes this.
  17. JosieWhitehead

    JosieWhitehead Star commenter

    This is a difficult one to answer indeed. It seems somehow wrong to deliberately say something good about someone who has been nothing but a lazy and difficult little b. in every lesson that you see them. If you reward someone like this, what will you say about the one who has genuinely tried and done his best?
     
  18. sarah_dann1

    sarah_dann1 Occasional commenter TES Behaviour peer advisor

    I think it's good to be honest and reward for actual positive achievement/effort/attitude/improvement etc and not worry about ensuring everyone has a turn. This avoids rewarding for no real reason.
     
    pepper5 and JohnJCazorla like this.
  19. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Yesterday I had entire class receive rewards for their effort and behaviour. Those are sparkling moments that keep me going.
     
    galerider123 likes this.
  20. meggyd

    meggyd Lead commenter

    Write in hw diary. Then they will show it to their parents! And the parents will also then use the diary to check more.
     

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