Educators know that optimal communication is at the center of good teaching and learning. Putting in place a number of communication patterns and structures support this integral element of a successful program. I thought about this today as I updated a number of communication pieces.
Notes that include the agenda, attendance, and important notes about our weekly Professional Learning Community meeting.
Student Planning Notes
Notes that include attendance, agenda, and action items related to student services.
Student Data List
A list of student data points. This list informs staffing, curriculum, and teaching decisions as well as parent/student coaching and communication.
Team To-Do List
This is a list we add to throughout the week to manage our grade-level team communication and efforts.
This is a calendar that we keep to inform the entire teaching/learning team of important dates.
This is basically our grade-level virtual classroom which is available 24-7 to all students, families, educators, administrators, and community members. The website includes a weekly newsletter, homework, learning menu of current learning efforts, and much more.
Weekly Newsletter Slideshow
Each week we add a new slide to the Team newsletter presentation. Slides include the latest information.
The daily schedule is posted each morning for students to review as they enter the classroom.
I have a document with a weekly template where I add the week's plans and links. I share this document with the grade-level team to help all those who work with students in my class to know what's happening. This helps specialists to match their efforts to the classroom plan.
Good communication relies on choosing a few structures that will knit the teaching/learning community together in ways that matter. It's essential that all team members know what has happened, what's going on, and what will happen in a timely, concise, and accessible manner. This is one way to build and strengthen the kind of teamwork that lays a foundation for successful teaching and learning.