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Tool: Managing telephone conferences

Many schools are making it easier for teachers to be reached by phone, either by having a clear system set up with the office for getting messages or by installing a phone with voice mail in every classroom.  It takes a little planning, though, to manage the use of the phone so it doesn’t interrupt classroom activities or become confusing as to what calls need to be returned.

First, you will need to find out whether your families have a phone and if so, when and where you may contact them. As part of gathering other information about families in the early days of school, you may decide to send home a communication preference form.

Making connections: What are your communication preferences?

Student’s name: ________________________________________

Family member #1: ____________________         

Relation to student: ___________

Home phone : ___________  Work phone: _____________

Cell phone: _________________ E-mail address (please print): _________________

How would you prefer to be contacted? ___Home___Work___Cell phone___E-mail

When would you prefer to be contacted? (days/times) _________________________

If you do not have access to phone or e-mail, how may I contact you? ____________

________________________________________________________________

Family member #2: ____________________         

Relation to student: ___________

Home phone : _________________  Work phone: _____________

Cell phone: _________________ E-mail address (please print): _________________

How would you prefer to be contacted? ___Home ___Work___Cell phone___E-mail

When would you prefer to be contacted? (days/times) _________________________

If you do not have access to phone or e-mail, how may I contact you? ___________________________________________________________________________

 

Below are 3 designs for telephone logs to help you organize the use of the phone to contact parents. Adapt these to your own situation. These forms may also be adapted to organize your use of e-mail (see the Managing e-mail messages tool).

Telephone callback log

Date/time

Call from:
Regarding:

Date/time

Call returned
Action:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Sometimes it is helpful to set up a telephone communication agreement with parents to support a student in areas such as getting homework done, managing their behavior or bringing materials to school. During a busy school day it can be challenging for teachers to stay on top of these agreements. A log can help you keep track of how you manage your end of the agreement. It can also help you analyze and balance out the type of communication that is taking place. Parents may want to use the form too.

Telephone communication agreement

Student’s name: ______________________ Teacher’s name: ____________________

Home contact person: ___________________________________________

Best day/time to call: __________________________________________

Purpose: _______________________________________________

Nature of the call

Date/time

Good news exchanged

Informational

Problems discussed

 
 
 
 
 

Sometimes teachers feel that all they do is make phone calls to parents when there are problems to discuss. By keeping a log of whom they call and the types of interactions that take place, they can make conscious choices to notice and change telephone use patterns. Some teachers even set a goal of making sure they call each family with “good news” on a regular basis to offset the times when other types of calls need to be made.

Telephone communication log

 

 

Nature of the call

Class list

Date/time

Good news exchanged

Informational

Problem discussed

 
 
 
 

PDF version for printing .... MSWord version for revising .... RTF version for revising