Ms. Cardenas is a middle school ESL teacher from Knoxville, Tennessee. She had learned about TalkingPoints from another teacher at her school who had just started using it for parent communication. She set up her class and sent a few messages to her students’ families and saw the impact it had on her students immediately. This is what she had to say:
“Once students knew I could communicate with their parents, their behavior in class changed. For many of my English Language Learners for example tend to push the envelope on occasion, now with Talking Points they have started putting items “in the envelope” to share with their parents instead of “pushing” it. One of my parents mentioned during a parent meeting how much she appreciates the text messages I send her, as she had not felt involved based on her Native Language. It’s making a big difference in my classroom.
I send text messages home on Sunday nights letting parents know about upcoming tests, school events and parent meetings. When I sent a text message home about a quiz that I was giving on Monday, students came to class saying their parents made them study. This made me very happy and I could tell the students felt the same way, because their parents were involved. I also use TalkingPoints to send messages to an individual parent or a group of parents based on circumstances. For example, we recently had tornado warnings in our area and several students were worried about their parents. They asked if I could text their parents letting them know about the tornado warnings, that they care about them and want them to be safe. We sent the message together and the students were so relieved and could continue learning.
I wanted to tell other teachers at my school about TalkingPoints, so I led a training using the Talking Points Professional Development Guide. We have a lot of non-English speaking families and TalkingPoints is helping us communicate with them. Teachers have busy schedules and don’t have a lot of time to learn how to use a new tool, but what I shared with our team and want other educators to know is how easy it is to communicate with parents through TalkingPoints. I love it and use it everyday!
I am excited about using Talkingpoints immediately as the new school year starts. I am planning to use more of the polling options and adding students to their accounts for self reminders. At our Back to School night I will share this great information at the door with all of the parents of our Middle School. I would also like to share this exciting communication with teachers throughout our school district, as it surely makes our lives as teachers a little bit easier.”