Beginning Teacher Tips: The Positive Note Home
Utilising The Positive Note Home is a simple and effective way to encourage positive communication between school and home.
Why The Positive Note Home?
My Four Tips for Writing Positive Notes Home
1. Be Specific
The feedback I have received is that parents appreciate the specific nature of these notes.
Compare the difference between these two statements:
- Jack had a great day today.
- Jack supported a student who was struggling with their spelling.
The second example is still brief and to the point, but the praise is specific and clear. Remember, by the time Jack gets home, he may not even remember what he did that was so great.
2. Use a recording sheet to ensure class coverage
A handy way to ensure you are sending notes home to all your students on a regular basis is to use a recording sheet. Simply list your students’ names and add the date when you send a note home with them. Some days a student will do something in particular that you will want to acknowledge. Other days, I find it useful to choose a couple of students and specifically look for positive behaviour that I could praise them for.
As I mentioned in my previous blogpost about Gerard Gordon’s book, “Managing Challenging Children”, he is a big believer in looking for positive behaviour in students.
Be the person who changes lives. Be the person who never stops believing. For everybody’s sake, EXPECT THE BEST, because when you do, you very often get it!
I suggest having a note pad on your desk and when you see the behaviour that you want to praise, write a quick note to yourself so that you remember for later e.g. Samantha, responsible on iPads today.
3. Make it a habit
An important part of sending positive notes home is to be consistent, and the easiest way to achieve this is to make the process a habit. At a set time each day, I would write my three positive notes home. For me, this was after lunch when the students were doing independent reading. I would look at the quick notes I had made during the day, write three positive notes and record the dates/names on my recording sheet. This took less than five minutes but ensured that this task was something I could maintain long term.
4. Keep it simple
On that note, I caution you to keep your positive notes simple from day one. If you start off the year writing two paragraphs, then that is what parents will come to expect. If you start off the year writing one super-specific and clear sentence, you are much more likely to be able to maintain this task as the yea gets busier and busier (as it does!).
If you want to read another teacher’s experience using positive notes home, check out this blog post.
Did you say freebie?
Would you like to try using positive notes in your classroom? Sign up for our free resource library and you can download our free set of positive notes home. I’ve kept these ink-friendly and you can liven them up by photocopying them onto coloured card or paper. Use The Positive Note Home in your classroom.
Humble brag, but I’ve got the best Getting to Know Activity ready for you!
Click here to read more about the best getting to know you activity.
Back to School Starter Kit
Our Back to School Starter Kit contains everything you need to get your classroom set up and ready for day one. This resource includes classroom decor and display materials, literacy and social studies activities, early finishers and team building activities, and more!
Print, photocopy and laminate these resources and then put your feet up knowing you are ready for day one! You’ll also save with our generous discount (25% off!). See more here.
Also in our Beginning Teacher Series
Join our membership
Onwards and upwards,