Generative AI has its limitations, sure, but there’s no denying the time it can save teachers on tedious and/or recurring tasks. Every minute saved is another minute earned in support of work-life balance. Here’s how you can turn ChatGPT into your own personal School-to-Home Liaison to make your teacher-parent communication more efficient and comprehensive than ever.
- Click here if you already have a GPT+ subscription
- Click here if you are using the free version of ChatGPT
Meet the EdTech Evolved School-to-Home Liaison GPT
The School-to-Home Liaison has been trained to perform a variety of tasks, including:
- Drafting professional weekly updates from a list of classroom highlights, projects, and upcoming events
- Accurately translating communications into dozens of languages
- Drafting behavior notice templates to inform parents of incidents
- Creating simple academic progress reports aligned with your state standards
The tone of teacher-parent communication from the GPT emphasizes clarity, professionalism, and collaboration. It has been trained on multiple examples of teacher-parent communication best practices. It is also capable of additional layers of personalization if you elect to share your state and/or school district policies.
To use the GPT, simply type in your request in a conversational tone. If additional information is needed to complete your request, the GPT will either ask for it directly or output a template with variables for you to fill in.
A note on privacy and security
Unlike the free version of ChatGPT, this custom GPT does not save any conversations or use them in model training data. That said, we still strongly encourage you to exercise caution and avoid using any student names or other identifiable information in your prompts. It’s very easy to fill in the blanks and get the same results after the fact. EdTech Evolved’s AI privacy and security best practices include always sharing the minimum amount of information needed to accomplish a task.
Real-life teacher-parent communication example: weekly update email
Please draft a weekly classroom summary including these highlights: Our Monday field trip to the school forest taught us so much about our environment and how the local flora and fauna have changed over the years. In reading, we paired up with our 6th grade book buddies on Tuesday, practiced our silent ‘e’ phonics work with a picture-based game on Wednesday, and spent 30 minutes writing our plays on Thursday. In math, we continued to work on fact fluency practice and completed multiple time-telling activities with both analog and digital clocks. Parent-teacher conferences are next Thursday—don’t forget to sign up for a spot here no later than Monday: [insert link here]. Reminder that all students should have at least two weeks worth of snacks at all times. It looks like we’re getting a little low.
Output: weekly classroom summary
Date: [Insert Current Date]
Dear Parents and Guardians,
I hope this message finds you well. I am excited to share with you the highlights of our eventful week at school. It’s been a week full of learning, exploring, and growing together.
Field Trip to the School Forest (Monday)
Our week kicked off with an enriching field trip to the school forest on Monday. It was a fantastic opportunity for our students to connect with nature and learn about our local environment. We explored the diverse flora and fauna and discussed how they have evolved over the years. The students were exceptionally engaged and brought back valuable insights about environmental conservation.
- 6th Grade Book Buddies (Tuesday): In our reading sessions, we had a delightful time pairing up with our 6th grade book buddies. This interaction allowed our students to engage with more advanced readers and share their love for stories.
- Phonics Work (Wednesday): We focused on silent ‘e’ phonics with a fun and interactive picture-based game. This hands-on activity helped reinforce their understanding of phonics rules in a playful way.
- Play Writing (Thursday): On Thursday, we dedicated 30 minutes to writing our plays. The students showed great creativity and enthusiasm in crafting their stories, demonstrating impressive writing skills.
This week in math, we continued to strengthen our fact fluency with various exercises. Additionally, we engaged in multiple time-telling activities, utilizing both analog and digital clocks. These activities are vital in enhancing our students’ practical math skills and understanding of time management.
Upcoming Parent-Teacher Conferences (Next Thursday)
A gentle reminder that our parent-teacher conferences are scheduled for next Thursday. This is a great opportunity for us to discuss your child’s progress and growth. Please make sure to sign up for a time slot at your earliest convenience, no later than Monday. You can sign up here: [insert link here].
Classroom Snack Reminder
Lastly, a reminder to keep our snack supplies replenished. Each student should have at least two weeks’ worth of snacks available at all times. Currently, our stock is running a bit low, so your timely contribution would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you for your continued support and engagement in our classroom activities. It’s through your involvement that we can create a thriving learning environment for our students. If you have any questions or need further information, please feel free to reach out.
Get Similar Results With the Free Version of ChatGPT
Through experimentation, we found only minimal differences in performance of basic teacher-parent communication tasks between GPT 3.5 (the default free version of ChatGPT accessible here) and the GPT 4.0-based School-to-Home Liaison. The free version was up to the task for all of the most common applications, including crafting weekly summary emails, translating updates into various languages, and generally matching the appropriate voice and tone for teacher-parent communication.
Once you start using this technology, you will almost certainly discover many opportunities to convert your stream of consciousness or bulleted lists into cohesive, professional emails, newsletters, and other communications.
Here’s one example of a similar prompt to what we used above that resulted in a strong, cut-and-paste weekly summary:
When we asked ChatGPT to translate the results into Spanish, it was also able to pull that off without a hitch:
The key with the free version of ChatGPT is to be as detailed with your prompt as possible (without sharing any personally identifiable information – see below). If you need to write up an intervention summary for a student, for example, be specific about the grade level, the standards you’re trying to address, and the state/district guidelines you are following for RTI/MTSS/etc… ChatGPT can also provide recommendations for parents to try at home, but only if you’re very clear about the specific skills that need to be addressed.
As teacher-parent communication requests became more complex, the difference between GPT 3.5 and GPT 4 became more apparent. For example, when we gave both models the following prompt, GPT 4 did a much better job of providing examples of the skill for parents. It also gave us far more specific recommendations for practicing the skill at home:
“Write up a brief intervention summary with at-home recommendations for a student who is struggling with reflexive pronouns. Refer to the Tennessee state standards and MTSS requirements wherever possible.”
GPT 3.5 was still able to provide a response, just one that required a lot more manual tweaking after the fact. It was not able to differentiate as much between standards. It’s also important to note that GPT 3.5 can’t browse the web for current information, so any updates to standards, state guidelines, or district policies will not be captured in its responses.
All that said, whether you choose to pay for a ChatGPT subscription or not, generative AI can make your life easier in many ways. There’s a reason why half of all school district technology leaders have already reported positive results from their teachers’ “use of AI for the purpose of planning, communicating, and/or creating more engaging classrooms.”
A note on data privacy and security
When in doubt, you should always assume that any information you enter into a large language model like ChatGPT is not private or secure. Do not input student names or any other information that could be pieced together to identify you, your classroom, or your students.
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