Core scripture: “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
Message: Quick question … Why do you call students’ homes? Honestly, think about it. Is it because of lack of effort? Maybe a kid who doesn’t have his work turned in. Or maybe it is a kid who is being outright defiant to you. Whatever the case, I think we could rightly assume that at least most of the parent phone calls we make home are based on need for improvement.
It is time to flip the script.
What if you actually made the time to make a positive parent phone call? What if you did this in the middle of class, right in front of all the students? What if you totally caught a parent off guard and absolutely made their day? What if that parent had never heard anything positive said about their child?
Wow … what if!
I bought into a lie last year that I did not have the time to make those phone calls. So, I stopped them. I used to do five positive parent phone calls per week! Every Friday I would award students with my King or Queen of the Week award, and each one got a positive parent phone call home. I somehow reasoned that teaching remotely did not allow enough time for that encouragement.
I am back to my old ways, and I can already feel the benefits. One parent thanked me for being a positive role model for their child to look up to. Another student just HAD to talk to her mom after I phoned home telling mom about the kid’s amazing personal narrative. The kids absolutely love hearing me dote on them to mom or dad, and suddenly that connection between school and home is strengthened.
One positive parent phone call I made a few years back stands out to me. I caught a dad at work. He had an extremely stressful day. Bad news after bad news. Negativity seemed to be crushing him—until I took a minute to call him. You could hear his flustered voice on the other end of the line. I quickly let him know about his child’s award, and you could hear the relief sweep over him.
“You know, I have had one of my worst days today with all this stress at work,” he began. “I needed to hear this. You just made my day!”
All it takes is one minute. Make these calls intentional. If a kid who has been messing up does something good, make the call. If you see that quiet kid that does it right every stinkin’ day but never gets recognized, make the call. If you have that parent that has been a thorn in your side and you want to spread some love back to them, make the call.
Today, I am going to make one call in particular that I hope will change things for the better. The dad has not had the best relationship with the teachers so far this year. He stirred the pot at Back to School Night, and I just learned through his daughter’s personal narrative that the mom left the family. The kid wants nothing to do with the mom. Dad is her only hope.
All it takes is one minute. I am going to give dad a call in my plan hour midday and let him know how proud I am of his daughter’s 12-page personal narrative. Yes, it was 12 pages because she increased the font and added a picture of either herself or her family on almost every page, but the narrative was magical. It expressed his daughter’s heartache and innermost feelings. And do you know what? Dad deserves to know about this.
Who is that kid for you? Who NEEDS that positive parent phone call home? Be the teacher that takes the time to make the call.
Challenge: Hello, Captain Obvious! Gee, I wonder what your challenge should be for the week? I am going to go ahead and say it is to make that positive parent phone call to the kid or parent that needs it. Be a light for Christ, shedding His perfect glow on the darkness that surrounds us. And if you have a cool story about a specific parent you got in touch with, feel free to share that in a reply below. 😊
Video application: I love inspirational Ted Talk videos. This one caught my eye about “The Power of Words.” The speaker talks more about notes being written to her, but these notes can certainly be translated to a parent phone call. Check it out below.
Prayer points: Lift up the following areas to the Lord …
- Pray for parent relationships to be strengthened through positive parent phone calls.
- Pray for these phone calls to make the students work that much harder to earn a positive parent phone call.
- Pray that parents will be receptive to encouraging their kids at home.
- Pray for FCA huddles everywhere that are getting ready to kick off their school year. We are hoping to begin next Wednesday!
Just for fun: So, I taught nouns and verbs last week. I know … exciting stuff! I always try to make it seem exciting, but it never is. Any-hoo, I put the handout up on my screen. It CLEARLY says “Nouns” at the top. I proceed to read a sentence that is missing all the nouns, and ask the almost rhetorical question of, “So, what did the blanks all have in common?” One kid from the right side of my room yells out, “VERBS!”
Oh dear. Mr. Daniels has his work cut out for him this year, doesn’t he?
Prayer: Father, strengthen the relationships between school and home. Help us connect with parents over the phone through positive parent phone calls. Amen.
I love what you are doing. I pray that these phone calls strengthen the parent relationships.
“What if you actually made the time to make a positive parent phone call? “—Wouldn’t the parents be shocked?
Are parents shocked? Sure! But it is a good shock. One time a dad picked up the phone and quickly asked, “What happened?” As if something was completely and totally wrong. I quickly reassured him that this was a positive parent phone call. He softened immediately. He thanked me for taking the time to call. And he felt proud of his son. The gift I gave him that day was so precious, and I would never want to take that feeling away. Do you know what I say? I say go ahead and shock them. With kindness. With love. With our focus on glorifying all that He did for us. You can’t go wrong with that.