1) Give them your phone number.
I know most teachers are reluctant to do this. But there is a good reason- At the back of their minds, parents know that you are there for their child. You care enough to sacrifice your time. I have always given my phone number and till date not one parent has abused that privilege unnecessarily. I have occasionally been called up to clarify concerns. This, in turn, has nipped problems in the bud.
2) Call them up. At times I find myself thinking about the kids. Something funny may have happened in school that day; or something was bothering me. I pick up the phone and share my thoughts with them.
3) A class blog is like a gift to parents. They get to see their child's work; they watch videos of class activities; homework is always clearly laid out.
4) Encourage parents to blog. I always encourage parents to post comments in the class blog. The students feel that their parents are interested in their education. The parents feel part of our class.
5) Invite them to your class. Find out what your parents are good at right at the beginning of the term. Keep that invaluable information on your desktop. When a unit of inquiry requires an expert guest speaker for instance, you have a potential and invaluable resource!
6) Ask them to be part of school projects. Some projects may take a long time and require resources that are not easily available. Parents who are not working, have a lot of time to spare. They would be happy to help. I've had parent helpers volunteer to read, work with a group of kids, go on class trips and even raise money for a project!
7) Write positive comments in the students' diaries. This really encourages students and parents.
8) Take time to learn about the culture and custom of your students' families. This helps you to enrich the curriculum while students learn to make meaningful connections with their lives. Parents know that you care about who they are and where they come from.
9) Translate newsletters so that parents who cannot read in English feel connected with the curriculum.
10) Visit the families. In India, parents treat teachers like stars! :) It’s amazing when you visit their homes. This can be quiet challenging, given the lack of time and, at times, the distance; but if you get an opportunity, grab it.