Having a classroom theme is important! Mine is jungle themed.  TPEP's Classroom Environment often gets overlooked for more "academic" targets, but don't forget how important your classroom's appearance is, especially in Kindergarten.  I get so many compliments on my classroom decor from parents.  You want to show you have put a lot of love and thought into the space their children will be spending their days in! Additionally, I consciously try to create "conversation starters" for kiddos around the room.  This is SO important for your ELLs! From themed stuffed animals to puppets to a family wall (pictures of family members), I try to make sure a walk around the classroom is engaging, stimulating, and social. For more on classroom environment, read my post in CORElaborate below.

 How to Have the BEST Classroom Ever: 3 Tips


School Community

Just like kids are engaged in different ways, parents are too! In today's culture, capturing anyone's attention for more than 15 seconds is a challenge.  Parents are working, parents have more than one classroom to manage, parents are separated or divorced and don't communicate with the know the list. Instead of letting yourself feel frustrated, try branching out in communication methods.

Remember that for parents who speak more than one language, written messages can be easier to decode than oral speech.  Additionally, pictures of what kids are doing are easier to understand than written bulletins (Instagram is my friend, in other words!)

 Social Media

Don't let fear interfere with your relationships with families.  Our job is NOT just to teach children.  It's to build relationships with families in order to help their students succeed.  With the use of Instagram and (a professional) Facebook, I've been so lucky to make connections with awesome families in the community, and NOT just by sharing teaching stuff.  I've found that by sharing small pieces of my life with families, I am able to connect with them better (weird, right? ;-) ) I've heard a lot of teachers who would rather keep their personal lives separate, mostly from a fear of being misjudged or a fear of "getting in trouble."  To each their own! For ME, sharing tiny slivers of my life through social media has helped parents trust me more, communicate with me better, and has helped create a feeling of "family" for members of my classroom.




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