Should I wait to send a card until parent’s talk with me about an issue or is it ok to approach them first?
Yes! Just as TIPS was designed to address parents’ immediate needs/concerns for their child in real time, it was also designed for teachers to proactively use to address certain issues or support learning in the classroom. TIPS encourages teachers to use its resources to educate and engage parents on a variety of areas. For example, if a teacher is working on potty training in the classroom, she may talk to the parent and provide a card on potty training strategies to employ at home. Teachers can also find tip cards to support their lesson plans. For example, a teacher may be working on ‘sharing with others’ in the classroom. Again, she could talk with the parents about what the child is learning and send home a card with strategies on how to support this in the home environment. This will help provide a consistent approach, which we know is optimal for success.
As always, whether a parent asks or you initiate, the conversation is the most important part. Each conversation builds your relationship with the parent. Share the information that you want them to have, and then share the TIP as a reminder of that conversation.