Communicate: Communication Guidelines

posted May 18, 2016, 11:40 AM by Emily Kroutil   [ updated May 19, 2016, 8:01 AM ]
As a teacher of a fully online class, it will be important to have a communication plan.  I will need to do the following at the very least:

  • Send a welcome email to my students/parents
    • This is what I sent to my physics parents this year:
****
Hello All.
I will be your child’s physics teacher this year at Savannah Arts Academy.  I look forward to a great year with each of your children.  This year, I am trying to conserve paper, so I will not hand out a syllabus in class.  I do, however, have the syllabus posted on my website HERE.  If you absolutely need a paper copy, please let me know and I can print one for you and have it for your child.  Everything we do in class can be found at my website: www.mrskscience.com.  Expect to see an email from me at the beginning of each unit or when I have important information that I need to make sure parents read.
We will be doing the flipped classroom this year in physics.  I have created videos of my lectures for students along with short online quizzes and organizational guides to keep them focused on our learning objectives.  I pioneered this two years ago with my students and it was received favorably by most students.  I look forward to continuing this method of teaching with your students this year.  If you’ve had a negative experience with a “flipped classroom” in the past, I ask that you please let me have a chance to show you and your child how the great a flipped classroom can be.  If you’ve enjoyed the “flipped classroom” experience in the past, I can’t wait to help you continue this style of learning.
For the flipped classroom, students will be viewing videos and taking quizzes through a program called Haiku (www.myhaikuclass.com).  I really like this program because students can create a student account and parents can create a parent account, so you can see exactly what your child sees when they log in and view the videos if you’d like as well.  The instructions to register for Haiku can be found HERE.  It is very important that you choose the correct class period when registering.Your child is currently registered for ____ period physics.
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me.  If you are receiving this email at more than one email address or you have a different email address you’d like me to use, please let me know.  I’m requesting a read receipt on this email just so I can make sure the email is going through and working correctly.  Thank you for your time and support!

                
Emily Kroutil
Science Department 
Savannah Arts Academy
500 Washington Avenue
Savannah, GA 31405
912-395-5000
Check out our class website: www.mrskscience.com
Check out our Donor's Choose site: http://www.donorschoose.org/mrskroutil
****
  • Send personal notes to students/parents
    • If a student does well, I like to let the parent know.  A little praise goes a long way!
    • If a student is doing poorly, I like to let the parent know.  Hopefully, we can work together to rectify the situation before it gets out of control.
    • Additional communication between parents and students as needed.
  • Send mass emails to students/parents (sometimes administrators like to be on these as well)
    • I like to do this at the beginning of each unit, before progress reports, and before major tests, like final exams so everyone (administrators, parents, students, and me) are all on the same page.  If I have any special education students in my class, I like to add their advisor to the recipient list so they can also stay up-to-date with what we are doing in class.  This is an example of one of those emails:
****
Hello All.

Today, we are beginning our velocity unit.  This is our first taste of "real" physics.  Everything for this unit can be found online at my website (www.mrskscience.com) in the Unit 2 Google Drive Folder.  Click on the Physics tab and scroll down to "Unit 2 Motion".  The schedule for this unit is as follows (subject to change):

Monday, August 31: ask questions over Objectives 1-4, take Quiz, begin objectives 5-6
Wednesday, September 2: ask questions over objectives 5-6, take graphing quiz, begin objectives 7-10
Friday, September 4: Measuring Time Lab
Monday, September 7: NO SCHOOL - LABOR DAY
Wednesday, September 9: ask questions over objectives 7-10, take quiz, review for test
Friday, September 11: Velocity Test

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact me.

                
Emily Kroutil
Science Department 
Savannah Arts Academy
500 Washington Avenue
Savannah, GA 31405
912-395-5000
Check out our class website: www.mrskscience.com
Check out our Donor's Choose site: http://www.donorschoose.org/mrskroutil

*****
  • Have specific policies and practices for communication
    • File correspondence between students and parents in a special folder (can be online)
    • Keep a log of all communication as documentation in case they are needed (I like to call this my CYA folder)
    • Copy administrators on emails with student concerns 
    • Any other school-specific policies
To accomplish these objectives, I have mainly used email until now.  I've heard about Remind101 and even signed up for National AP Environmental Science review updates.  If I were to teach online classes, I would like to use this method of communication for contacting my students/parents.  It seems like a useful tool - even if all the message said was, "Check the website, I have such-and-such available for you now", it would be helpful.  I look forward to experimenting with this technology in the future.  I also like the idea of Dial My Calls.  That service would be useful for important announcements, but I wouldn't want to do it all the time.
Comments