First week back after Christmas break, and my principal sends us an email reminding us he wants us to make 1 good news phone call home per week, and to keep records. I’ll be honest, I did not react positively. This is just one more thing added to our already overflowing plates. I complained about it to my colleagues. They felt the same. But then later, I thought about it. A good news phone call probably wouldn’t take more than 5 minutes. And wouldn’t I like to receive such a phone call too? So I decided to try it. I thought about a student who might be a hard worker but might not get many kudos, or who might be lacking self-confidence. I made the call. The person who answered handed over the phone to the mom and I could hear an exchange between the two that let me know they were a bit nervous about a call from the school.
After I greeted the mom, I started to tell her about her daughter’s insightful comments concerning the nature of beauty in society. This mom was so happy with this news. She even asked, Janey (pseudonym )said that? She was so happy I think she was tearful! After I hung up I was just as happy. I made another call today. I had to call back when the parent was on break but that was ok. I have taught Charley* for 3 years. She is insightful, empathetic, hard working, and congenial. I told this to her mom. I also mentioned how she recently took a lead role in helping her debate team prepare and organize arguments. And I said I would miss her when she graduates. Once again, this mom was happy I called. And I felt great for delivering this good news. I think I may continue to try to make more than one call per week. I will make it a point to call the homes of students who might be wallflowers, or who consistently work hard despite challenges. Let the good news phone calls roll!