What I Wish I Knew My First Year of Teaching {with Core Inspiration}

My first year of teaching is what I like to refer to as my golden year. I had an amazing group of students, supportive and flexible parents, and a team that made me feel like I was way more proficient in my new profession than I really was. The school year was filled with fun and excitement and by the last day of school, I was completely in love with my new career. I was a rock star. I was unstoppable. I was on top of the world.

In reality, I was blinded by excitement and didn’t know what I didn’t know… soooo many things I didn’t know.

One of those many things was the world of of Google +. Also known as the best and easiest way to keep classroom parents in the loop. Here’s the scoop.

At the beginning of the year, create a private Google+ community.

Double check the community settings to ensure the privacy settings are secure so you can post class photos.
Brainstorm what you want to post in the community. Pictures with descriptions of what students did in class each day/week, classroom newsletters, parent polls, updates about upcoming classroom events, questions to spark dinner time discussion, parent volunteer reminders and needs, etc.

Invite every parent in your class to join your community.

At back to school night, show parents how to turn on alerts for your community posts. This ensures they will receive a notification each time you post an update.   

Set parameters for community postings. Decide if you want to be the sole poster or if you want to give parents permission to create posts as well.

Create a schedule for when you will post to hold yourself accountable. I don’t recommend sharing this schedule with parents because life happens and you don’t want them emailing you when they don’t see your post published at 3:00 on Thursday.

At the end of the year, don’t delete the community. This serves as an awesome memory book for the families in your class.

Although Google+ wasn't thought of as a classroom tool when I first started teaching, it has certainly become one of my favorite parent communication tools. Do you have any recommendations or favorite ways to use Google+ in your classroom? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

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