Teachers are often left with the task of prioritizing their to-dos at school knowing that they simply won’t get to their whole checklist before the weekend rolls around. Lesson planning and classroom management rise to the top of the priority list every week. We readily contact families when a student acts out or if they are missing homework, but do we consider reaching out to families when their children do something positive in class? This kind of home contact can easily fall to the bottom of the priority list. However, sending home positive notes to families could make other to-dos on a teacher’s list disappear.

Here are 5 reasons why teachers should be sending home positive notes to their students’ families.

1. It’s an authentic classroom management strategy.

There are so many useful classroom management hacks out there, but perhaps the very best strategy is to build a trusting relationship with students. Trust starts with communication and positive language in the classroom. Sending home positive notes about a student’s success in school speaks volumes to kids about how their teacher views them as a learner. Too often children associate a call home as a negative punishment, but we can start flipping that script by communicating in positive ways with families. Students with whom we build trust will begin to respect the expectations of the classroom more readily than those who feel rejected or misunderstood by us.

2. Notes home open up another line of communication between home and school.

It is equally as important to build trust with families of students as it is with the student themself. Some families have never seen or heard a positive message from the school out of the blue. Receiving just one positive note home will help to build their trust in their child’s teacher and encourage families to communicate more often. Plus they will be proud of their child, and positivity will spread throughout their home!

3. The kids love and are proud of their notes.

Even though students love to make their teachers proud, it is an educator’s ultimate goal to help students be proud of themselves. Using positive language in the classroom is a great start, but spreading that language to their home is the next step in helping students feel independent and proud in their own journey of learning. Positive notes encourage students to be accountable for their own growth in school.

4. Teachers love it too!

Let’s face it – teaching is exhausting. Communicating with parents can feel draining and time consuming as we plan lessons, teach new curriculum, do recess duty, and more. However, many teachers say that sending positive notes home boosts their own morale too. Seeing the kids and their families light up reminds us why we picked this career.

5. It’s FREE.

Can you say that about many things in the world of education? So often teachers put off using certain strategies and materials in the classroom because they are costly. It can feel rare to find a completely free and worthwhile classroom strategy to implement. The truth is that positive notes are absolutely free and make a bigger impact than many other tools used in the classroom.

So, you might be wondering, what do these positive notes home look like? You can be creative with this! We know teachers are short on time, so for many educators it’s best to use a simple form.

Here are 5 creative ways to send home positive notes.

1. Use a grab-and-go template with plenty of blank space to fill in any specific, positive note that you’d like.

2. Use a checklist template for a quick note.

3. Fill-in-the-blank templates allow for more specific comments but are still low prep!

4. Prepare different templates for different types of student actions ahead of time. When you notice a student displaying a certain quality, it’s easy to grab one of these notes to send home. You can always add a personal touch on the back.

5. Change up your notes every season! Kids love to see what the positive notes home look like each month.

It can certainly be hard to find time in the day to prepare and send home positive notes. However, all of the benefits that go along with positive notes make it worthwhile. Ten minutes a week spent on positive notes may be all it takes to transform your relationship with students and their families!

Teachers, send positive notes home, not just negative ones