I don't contact parents nearly enough. I know by saying that I'm adding one more thing to my gargantuan to-do list, but I think I've minimized the importance and value of keeping in touch with parents.
If I can't get a student to behave, or turn in work, parents need to know that so we can be battling the issue together. If students are getting pressure from home as well as at school, that makes a difference.
Also, parents already know their kids. They know what motivates them and what demotivates them. They know their kids' habits, strengths, weaknesses, what's going on in their lives right now. Parents have a wealth of information
One of my favorite phone calls to make is the positive one. I like noticing something great a student did and being able to call home about it. I like being sneaky and not telling the kid I'm planning on calling his mom.
I have a slight fear of calling home that I need to get over.