Best Practices for Classroom Newsletters
Classroom newsletters can be a very effective tool for getting quick and engaging information to students and their families, whether you teach online or in the physical classroom.
These email newsletters can also be a quick and visually pleasing way for parents and guardians to stay informed on class activities and keep student supporters in the loop about grade level expectations, while building the essential communication lines. It allows supporters to ask specific questions about events happening in their child’s classroom more so than a simple question like “how was class?” would.
There are several free tools or versions that are available to educators that allow information to be sent quickly and in a visually pleasing format. Here’s how an email newsletter can be handy, and a few ways educators can get the most out of theirs.
Why Email Newsletters Are Effective
With comments, likes, or ratings, a digital classroom newsletter can be interactive, resulting in a lively experience for readers and highly relevant feedback for educators. An online newsletter can explore new types of timely, topical content, such as stories about upcoming class events or pictures from a recent lesson or social experience. Stories are more relevant to an audience when they are local and timely.
Another benefit to a digital newsletter over other formats is that it reaches most of its readership where they get a majority of their news and information: on mobile devices.
Digital also allows an adaptable level of detail provided by an online experience. Readers can quickly scan a wide variety of content and decide whether to dig deeper. Links to assignments, instructional or inspirational videos, photo albums, and/or shared resources are accessible in digital format, unlike traditional PDF or hard copy newsletters.
What Should Be In A Classroom Newsletter?
The content included in a classroom newsletter is totally up to the educator and should fit the unique needs of the class.
There are a few best practices. For example, educators can include a brief description of what students are working on. This allows for the option of front-loaded support from parents.
However, this also assumes that all students are working on the same material. Working with an email newsletter can allow for individualization and segmentation. Educators can also keep their newsletter culturally based and higher level without getting into the detailed content.
Classroom newsletters can also touch on topics important to parents and guardians, like reading to or with their student, upcoming events or important dates, available resources, and the best ways to reach the educator with questions. Including a list of links to important websites, such as online learning tools or textbooks, is also handy.
What Makes a Classroom Newsletter Successful?
The analytics feature within newsletter platforms allows educators to see how their newsletter is being received by the intended audience. This may be less important for educators that are teaching in a building in a particular district versus students online in various regions across the country.
However, metrics can demonstrate a topic's importance—making its strengths and weaknesses clear—and they help understand students’ interests.
More importantly, knowing how the newsletters are performing will give educators valuable evidence that support their concrete actions: what needs to be reviewed, what should or could be expanded on in the classroom, and how interested students are in a topic.
Metrics can also show when most recipients are viewing the classroom newsletter. This can help determine the best time to send it, maximizing open rates and ensuring it reaches people in time for any important reminders.
Best Email Newsletter Platforms
Looking for an engaging newsletter with great tools and graphics to get information to your students? Consider the following platforms, some which are free and others with additional fees:
Digital Classroom Newsletters: An Easy Way to Keep In Touch
Email newsletters are useful digital tools that maintain communication and fosters engagement between educators, students, and parents outside of the classroom.
The power of classroom newsletters lies in their instant accessibility, delivering relevant information directly to everyone’s inboxes. Educators should consider incorporating diverse content such as important announcements, student highlights, and educational resources to ensure the newsletters fully serve their purpose.
Visit our article on successful parent-teacher communication for additional support.