Positive>Negative Communications

So after a little hiatus from writing this blog, I am back. I had decided a while ago that if nothing was occupying my thoughts then I was not going to write just to write.  But talking with teachers recently, I am reminded of the necessity of sending out more postive communications to parents. 

The Bank of Goodwill. No it is not an actual bank but it can be just as vital. I think I first heard this term in the book Voice Lessons for Parents by Wendy Mogel This really resonated with me. I have since adopted this term when coaching teachers on parent/teacher communications. I encourage teachers to send out a welcome communication within the 1st week of school that does not only say hello but also recites a positive interacdtions with the student. What better way to say that I am invested in getting to know your child then an actual classroom experience!

Just Google “how many positives to contradict a negative.” The consensus is that it takes 5 positive comments to negate a negative comment. I would extend this to interactions with parents. By starting out with positive comments, teachers can build their Bank of Goodwill. So when they must have a discussion about an academic or behavioral concern, parents know that you have already seen their child in a positive light. 

I suggest to teachers to jot observations on a post it note or any note taking practice. Then they have them for conversations and report cards. Further I propose that they use a calendar and put a student’s name on each day of the school week as a way to organize sending a postive note to parents. That means one positive communication a day, not overwhelming especially if you have anecdotes ready.

So while this article, https://sharpencx.com/blog/positive-and-negative-feedback-ratio/, was not written with school in mind it does make the point about positive feedback (in our case talking to parents). We want parents to work with us to make their child’s school experience one of growth. If we ask them for their support in guiding less effective behaviors into positive ones, we need to start with positive reports.  

So, I know some are saying, really another thing to do in this era of pandemic teaching. Maybe more than ever we need to highlight the positives we see in our students. Parents are also looking for some positives and this may be the best thing you do for your relationship with parents. 

How do you communicate the positive to parents on a regular basis?  Let me know through Twitter or Instagram (@edtechease) or Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/edtechease/) or email me, swladis@edtechease.com. Will share your ideas and successes as my way of giving you the positive feedback you deserve!

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