Top tip for building relationships at the start of the year: calling home

Authored by

Jean Gross

Teacher Elena Aguard describes how on the first day of school she gives students a survey that includes this item: “Who would you like me to call when I have good news to share about how you’re doing in my class? You’re welcome to list up to five people, and please let them know I might call—even tonight or tomorrow!”

After the first few days of a new school year, she suggests that as soon as you’ve identified the students who might be challenging, you make it a goal to call their homes with positive news every week.

You can share this goal with the students, greeting them at the door with something like: “I’m very glad to see you this morning, Jake! I’m going to be watching you really closely today to find some good news to share with your mum this evening.”

Make sure you get ‘great news’ in quickly when you call, so the phone doesn’t get put down: “Hello - is this Mrs. _____? I’m calling from _____ school with good news about your child, _____. Can I tell you about it?”

A phone call can take just three minutes. Worth it for the transformational effect?