I love working with middle schoolers, but it seems that staying connected with parents becomes more difficult at this age. Parents want to give their students more responsibility and independence and the students often sabotage parent involvement in order to protect their tween/teen reputation. One of my goals this year is to increase parent communication from the library.
I was inspired by Shannon Miller's beautiful newsletter created on Smore. Since then I have seen several other cute librarian newsletters made on this site including The Unquiet Library, my MLIS buddy Sharon Matney's newsletter for Lake Murray Elementary, and the talented and creative Valerie Byrd Fort at New Providence Elementary.
I plan to share our newsletter on our school Facebook page to keep parents and students updated on library events.
Another initiative I want to continue is Happy Calls. I read about this at the Shelf Consumed blog. I shoot for one positive parent phone call per day or five in one day for the week, but sometimes I'll admit I get busy and miss days. I try to chose students that are not always recognized and rewarded and compliment their reading, behavior and character. I've had lots of positive response from parents and students and it really does not take long.
Our first task in the Level Up Tech Quest is School-Home communication. I would love for you take a look at the page I put together and share some of the ideas with your own faculty or use them in your library. There are lots of good ideas that I've found searching through articles and blogs this summer.
This year I'm going to try for National Board certification. The convincing Tiffany Whitehead encouraged me to go for it with her this year and parent communication is one of the priorities in the porfolio. I'm hoping these efforts will help me with this portion and, most importantly, create a bridge between our library and student homes.
What do you do to connect with parents?