Throughout my teaching career, there have been many days where I have been overwhelmed by the tasks and expectations I place on myself as an educator. If that is you today, stop what you are doing and go make a sunshine call to one of the parents in your class. Delivering positive news will brighten not only the parent’s day, but your day as well. The parent is usually so thankful that you took time out of your day to speak with them about how awesome their child is or about something amazing that they did this week. I recommend it over simply writing a note as you feel the positive energy over the phone, and the pleasant interaction stays with you.
I am fortunate that I teach about 450 students, so there is always something positive going on throughout the week. I have made many different calls this year for many reasons. However, the most memorable call of the year was to a family with a child for whom they don’t receive these types of calls often. The student was negatively approached by another child and maintained their composure and calm throughout the interaction. This was a very big deal for this child, who has been working on their explosive responses to others. When I called to tell the parent about how well her child maintained their composure, the parent was almost in tears and so thankful that I called with positive news. The parent repeatedly thanked me, and we have had an excellent relationship every since.
Parents are sometimes surprised by sunshine calls, as they are not used to positive news coming from the school. I tried to call a parent whose second language was English and left a message on their answering machine. The parent was alarmed that the school had called them, and it took some time to explain that I was calling to tell her how hard her child was working to catch up to the other grade five students, as they were new to the country. Once she understood, she too was very thankful and appreciative.
Parents are so busy and deal with so many stresses outside of the day. It’s very impactful for them to receive good news about their children, so it’s worth taking the time to be that person for someone’s family.