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NewCAteacher NewCAteacher is offline
 
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“Newsletters”
Old 01-24-2019, 11:09 AM
 
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I am a specialist so I am not required to write these, but it really frustrates me that we ask elementary teachers to write these lengthy, monthly “newsletters.” What a complete and total waste of a teacher’s valuable time. If parents want to know what is happening in the classroom, come in and see for yourself. Ugh.


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Yes!
Old 01-24-2019, 11:36 AM
 
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I used to have to write those, and they were a complete waste of time and resources. Nobody ever read them, and a lot of teachers would add so much fluff to theirs that it was obvious they were trying to make their classes look better than everyone else's. Even when they moved to a digital format, they were still a waste of time and went largely unread. So glad I don't have to do those at my current school!!
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Newsletters
Old 01-24-2019, 11:54 AM
 
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We must have at least one paper and one electronic communication method.
All of us do a newsletter.
The electronic varies - remind, Bloomz, Weebly...but last year, teachers were marked down for not having a class Facebook, so...

I don’t mind doing it, but I doubt anyone actually reads it. I don’t get questions or emails, no one ever sends anything in, no one ever volunteers. I figured I’m just jumping through the hoop!
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Old 01-24-2019, 11:55 AM
 
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Maybe because it's Kindergarten, but I do a weekly one and consider it valuable. Takes me about 10 minutes to write and hit print and email (I send an electronic and a hard copy home).
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Old 01-24-2019, 12:04 PM
 
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I did a weekly newsletter when I taught 5th and 6th grade. A bit time consuming but valuable so that parents knew important things happening in the classroom including dates, assignments, projects, tests, etc.. With more technology over the years it was really easy to post my newsletter on my school web page and email a link to the parents announcing my newsletter for the week was posted. Saved a lot of questions from parents! I actually enjoyed publishing it and it got great reviews!


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Old 01-24-2019, 12:36 PM
 
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I've moved to a class podcast. The kids do it. It takes about 45 minutes a month and I do nothing more than add transition music and send it out to parents. It's wonderful. Most parents still ignore it, but at least they're ignoring their kids.
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Newsletter
Old 01-24-2019, 12:44 PM
 
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I do a weekly newsletter for my K class too! It's pretty brief. I have a literacy focus, a numeracy focus, and a 'coming up' for important dates. I have a set format, so it only takes a few minutes to fill in each week. I find it valuable but that's probably because we aren't allowed to tect r email parents, so it really is one of the few ways I can communicate with parents. I would love to have an electronic option!
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Old 01-24-2019, 12:46 PM
 
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Quote:
I've moved to a class podcast. The kids do it. It takes about 45 minutes a month and I do nothing more than add transition music and send it out to parents. It's wonderful. Most parents still ignore it, but at least they're ignoring their kids.
.

I LOVE this idea!
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Glad
Old 01-24-2019, 12:48 PM
 
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I’m glad that many of you find them helpful. I guess I’m just feeling annoyed with a lot of things about public ed right now
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Newsletters
Old 01-24-2019, 03:52 PM
 
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I taught primary and found the, invaluable. Homework directions came first, followed by any pertinent info or news. One page.

As technology came along, I sent it via my Shutterfly account.

Parents were trained to look for it every Monday.


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Newsletters
Old 01-24-2019, 04:58 PM
 
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We are required to do weekly letters. I send a paper copy home on Monday and send an electronic copy through Dojo. Then I get approximately 14 Dojo messages asking me for information I clearly included in the letter I sent home and sent through Dojo. What a waste of time.
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Old 01-24-2019, 06:12 PM
 
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I had to do the in kinder-but no one read it. I did them twice a month and it was lengthy and My P made translate it into Spanish and Punjabi since those were our main languages. I also had to post it to my website.

I think I said about 1000 times-"see the newsletter for the answer to that question". it took me about 45-minutes to an hour and too many people just refused to read it.

I am so glad that I dont have to do that at my new school in third grade. The kids write important dates in their planners and I send emails and post messages to our google classroom as need. no fluff, no wasted time.
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Old 01-24-2019, 06:32 PM
 
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We used to do voluntary paper newsletters, but then the district started requiring webpages. A newsletter was one of the tabs. We had training on FrontPage back in the day, and it was complicated. Each year, the tech guy would come to the library and each grade level would update our pages each fall. Then, we had a new superintendent who decided that we all needed uniformity. We had the tech specialist create a template for the grade level and our newsletters followed the template, but were still individual. Last year, they went to pages through Google. Luckily, we have a talented teacher at our grade level who entered our info for us. Newsletters were still required, but we each did a section and had one for the grade. Now, I am retired, but I understand newsletters are no longer required. They do have to have individual Twitter pages now. I was satisfied with Class Dojo. The principal still lets the use that, but Twitter is still required. If I wanted all this communication, I would be a publicist, not a teacher.
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Love Newsletters
Old 01-24-2019, 06:40 PM
 
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I think newsletters are wonderful. They keep parents up-to-date on classroom activities and upcoming dates. It also avoids comments like "but I didn't know about that."

When I taught third grade, I sent a paper copy newsletter every week. When a parent had a Monday morning question, I would check the child's take-home folder and usually found the newsletter still there. I would contact the parent with a written note or email and tell the parent to check the newsletter in the child's take-home folder. I never answered the parent's question. It was all right there in the newsletter, and I was not about to enable the parent to overwhelm me with the little stuff.
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Old 01-24-2019, 06:40 PM
 
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When I was a parent of elementary aged kids, I had no desire to read lengthy newsletters. I just wanted to know the important dates coming up and communication about anything I needed to know. I did not need to know what unit of math they were on, or paragraphs about some cute activity they did in class that week. That is fluff to me.

Out of that same desire to communicate only the important stuff- I just send out emails as needed, and only about things the parents really need to know. I make the emails as brief and to the point as possible, I don't ramble or try to get cute. I have had parents thank me for it. They are busy, I get it. I was too when I was in their spot.
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Old 01-25-2019, 05:36 PM
 
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At my previous school I was a classroom teacher. I published a weekly newsletter that was one page- a small summary of what we'd be learning that week and ways to help at home, important dates, and other announcements.

It didn't take me much time and I knew at least a few parents read them. P at that school was a micromanaging nutcase. She must have seen one of my newsletters on the copier, because I got a really rude note about something benign I'd written in one. Then she decided that we needed to send the office a copy of our newsletters "in case parents called with questions." Except that wasn't the reason, because we were required to send it to the office 3 days prior to sending it home with students.

I faithfully sent mine every week. A few weeks in, P wrote me back and told me that in order to save paper I should either do a monthly newsletter or stop sending them all together. Like 20 pieces of paper a week is really making that big of a difference. Thanks for supporting me communicating with the families!
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That could be a waste of time.....
Old 01-26-2019, 12:36 PM
 
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depending upon the types of parents you have. Really involved parents already know what is going on in their child's room usually.
It could become a competition too. Most, not all, of my parents would never even read them. I used to do them yrs ago, but we are no longer required to and teachers here do not bother.
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Old 01-26-2019, 01:03 PM
 
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I do not do a newsletter, although many of my co-workers do one weekly. I have my kids write important info in the planners, along with homework assignments. My philosophy is to let kids take the responsibility. Plus that's one less thing I have to make copies of. Students are expected to show the planner to parents every night, and parents are trained to look for it. But honestly I don't think it matters as long as you pick something and stick to it. What I will not do is send a newsletter, AND have kids write in planners, AND send emails, AND text, AND send Remind messages. I know too many teachers who do that in the name of good parent communication, but I think all it does is train the parents that they don't have to read any of it.
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Old 01-26-2019, 02:12 PM
 
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We're supposed to do them weekly. What we did, what we're going to do, any announcements and anecdotes, photos, opportunities to volunteer, upcoming events.

I stopped doing them because it was clear hardly anyone was reading them. Nobody has said anything about it.

Quote:
What I will not do is send a newsletter, AND have kids write in planners, AND send emails, AND text, AND send Remind messages. I know too many teachers who do that in the name of good parent communication, but I think all it does is train the parents that they don't have to read any of it.
100% agree. I used to be that teacher, but it absolutely trains parents and students that they don't have to pay attention to anything because you will do all the work of reminding them.

My students have planners that they are responsible for but a copy is posted online for parents. After that, it is a parenting issue to enforce how it is used or not.
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Old 01-28-2019, 08:42 PM
 
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We're supposed to do a weekly newsletter too, but I've found them pointless and invaluable. Nobody checks it, so I just slowly progressed to a bi-weekly newsletter, now a monthly newsletter. But it's been since November now, and I haven't completed one yet. No one has wondered where they are, either.
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