Each week, we send home a newsletter. I use a template on Microsoft Word to fill in the blanks. I like to keep it short and simple, since most parents are very busy. Generally, it includes upcoming events, a blurb about what we learned in class, and outstanding students. On the back, I copy a study guide, which gives parents an idea of what we will be working on next week.
My goal is always to send home the newsletter on Fridays. I’ve found it’s very helpful (as a busy mom, myself) to know what to expect. Therefore, I always try to send home papers on the same day each week. Parents know to ask their child about it, and it avoids getting buried in the bottom of the backpack.
In addition to the hard copy that goes home with the student, I post a digital copy on my website. This gives parents a second place they can check for the newsletter (since middle school students are notorious for losing papers!) It also allows administrators, board members, etc to keep up on what is happening in the classroom.
Along the lines of helping people know what is going on in my classroom, I give a copy to the secretaries. Since they are the ones who field the questions from parents about when things are taking place, I’ve found this is an easy way for them to have the answers handy. They appreciate having an answer to give and I like not making them aggravated. It’s a win-win!
The weekly newsletter is a small thing, on its own, but it makes a big impact. The mere fact that you are concerned about keeping everyone informed about your class activities tells people you take your job seriously. My grandmother used to say ‘you put time into what’s important’, so I take the time to send out a weekly newsletter.