Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Quick Tips: Using Photos to Build Parent Relationships

This weekend at the TBC Weekday Early Education Conference, I led a conference about using technology in the preschool classroom. Here are a couple of "new" ideas about using cameras to build or strengthen relationships with parents.

1. I'm Calm Now - One of the teachers mentioned an idea that I had not heard before. We all know that sometimes a child comes into the room crying and is still crying when the parent leaves. When the child is happy and playing, the teacher takes a photo and sends it to the parent (text or email). This helps the parent know that the child is happy and calm - and eases the parent's concern. I thought this was a great idea! The teacher said that they try to take and send the photo as soon as possible, so the parent knows the child calmed down quickly.

2. My First Day - This week we had our new group of "baby" kindergartners in my Sunday School classroom. As I was taking photos of the action, a new thought popped into my head. I took at least 1 or 2 photos of each child playing and working in the classroom. I'm going to print them and add "My First Day in K Sunday School" and the date. I'll give these to parents next week. I've not done this before - but thought it may be a good memory for parents - and a way for parents to see that we work and play hard as we learn.

What ways do you use cameras to build strong relationships between parents and church/school?


  1. I love this idea! The more timely the photos the better. I am a parent of 2 preschoolers and also the co-founder of a technology company that helps churches and preschools improve communication. I saw your tweet in the #ece hashtag and though it was very timely. We just blogged about sharing photos of kids here: http://blog.memberhub.com/should-preschools-post-images-of-children-online/

    And we're also giving away a digital camera this week on the NCaeyc Facebook page: http://facebook.com/ncaeyc in light of sharing pictures with parents to in a private way to increase communication and family engagement. Spread the word! :).

    Good stuff Scott, I'm going subscribe to your blog. Thanks.

  2. I take pictures often in my K4 class. The first day pictures are copied and become their locker and mailbox tags, I take pictures each month of the children that go into their memory book (binder with magazine sleeves), also has their monthly self portrait drawings, I take pictures of the children acting out stories then I use the photos as the illustrations to tell the story in class books. We use photos on our name wall, and are age chart and also for open house/ art show power points.

    I love your calm idea.....going to have to try that one this school year.....but who knows maybe I won't have to :) I wish!

  3. Brilliant idea, sending the photo to parents ASAP. Love it.

    We display photos of the morning's activities after lunch on a big screen- it was intended for the parents, but the children also show huge interest in revisiting their exploits like this. Even the babies (walking to 2 years) are fascinated and respond by naming their peers and crowing when they see themselves. It's a great 'belonging' experience.

  4. yes! i've just started using the texting method with parents last year. and just as you described: a sad child who has turned settled.

    and then, like you, we have our blog.

    and all communication goes out in email form as well.

    i like the idea of having photos regularly playing as a slideshow for the times when parents are most often in the room...we'll see.