Using Twitter to Connect with Parents

This year there is a big push in my district for an increase in teacher parent communication, and also for sharing with parents what their children are learning in school. Teachers achieve this through the more traditional ways - including newsletters, calls, and emails, but have also branched out into providing digital newsletters accessible in Google Drive and with Twitter. 



Since I am a technology teacher, I work in the library teaching media lessons and work to incorporate technology and 21st century skills into lessons. This year the librarian and I decided to try something new: we began with the idea of a classroom reporter. We thought we would have one student be designated as the reporter for each class  and they would blog about what they learned that day. I volunteered to create the blog, then somehow after New Teacher Academy and the first days of Teacher PD...I just never created the blog. On the second day of PD as we walked down the hall, the librarian had a great idea: Let's use Twitter instead. The library already had a Twitter account from the year before and this way students could easily take a picture or draw a picture on an iPad, write or dictate a caption, then tweet it out! 

We sent a letter home to parents explaining the Twitter Reporter Project and asked parents to follow us. We started the year with 12 followers and we now have 97! It is an amazing way to keep parents up to date and connected to what we are teaching and what their children are learning in the library. My favorite post was when a parent replied about how much she loved  her daughter's tweet and the book she had picked out! Another first grade parent mentioned at Open House that she sits with her daughter at the end of the day and they read all the tweets together - practicing the daughters reading skills and reinforcing her learning for the day! It has truly been a marvelous tool for connecting with parents - especially since as a specials teacher there is not that more frequent contact that occurs in a regular classroom.

I highly recommend creating a Twitter for your own classroom whether you are a classroom teacher, a specials teacher, or some other role in the school. You can set the account to Private thus controlling who sees the posts and can easily share examples of student work to parents. You can both have students tweet and tweet yourself. One great resource I found that was especially helpful in setting this up was  Mrs. Wideen's blog.

Happy Tweeting!


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