Saturday, October 20, 2012

Emailing teachers?

I believe in emailing my child's teachers.

Last night, Jonathan and I spent quite a bit of time going over his homework assignment to prepare for a math test. During that time, it became apparent that there were a few things he did not understand. He has not had much homework he said. I looked up his grades online. Our school system has a wonderful website with a special log in that will allow you to see up to the minute grades entered in the teachers grade book. It is very helpful to see recent  grades, late or missing assignments and current averages.
After looking at the website and talking to Jonathan, I felt it was necessary to email his teacher with a few of my concerns. At that mention, Jonathan said "no, please don't email her." When I questioned him about it, he said "the teacher always talks about the parents who send her emails. She says "and I don't want any parents emailing me about this ??? either."
So at that...I prepared my email of course. I read it to Jonathan just to ease his mind. I did not demand anything from the teacher or inform her of how to do her job. I simply requested to see a copy of the test that he did poorly on so that I could help him to understand the concepts. I also asked about some missing work that he had not completed since an absence earlier in the school year. I was very friendly, humble and thankful in my email....but what I really wanted to say was....and I do not want to hear about anymore comments from you about parents who email the teacher.
Does she not understand that 1. It means I care enough to communicate with her about my child's progress and struggles. 2.  I need to discuss something with her, but do not feel that it warrants a conference or phone call. 3. It teaches my child that it is okay to ask for clarification or more information and if speaking directly to the teacher is not an option at the time, an email can at least get things moving along.
I know some of you are or have been teachers. I'm sure it is bothersome to get emails over and over again from the same meddling parents....but to announce to the class that parents should not be emailing. Really? I am amazed.
Jonathan is in middle school. I do not plan to sit across from his teacher and discuss his work...ever...unless things get really bad. He is learning with my help to take responsibility for his own work, actions and mistakes. I request for him to discuss things with the teacher and he usually does. I get involved when I need to hear from her / him directly. I will continue to do so. I also email my high school juniors teachers when I feel it is necessary....and believe me when I high school junior does not like it, but she knows it is necessary at times. And she would much rather me email than call. Oh yes!

I believe in email...not in excess...but when needed.
What do you, call,  meet with?
Any teachers want to say what they prefer?

Enjoy your weekend! We have the first round of the volleyball state tournament and then a quick little get away to check out the changing leaves! The weather is gorgeous! We are ready!


  1. I'll be curious to hear what teachers prefer....

    I like email, because I know teachers are busy all day and so am I, finding a time to even talk on the phone can be a challenge!

    It sounds like you handled it well.

    1. Me too.
      And the teacher's response was quick and helpful. Surely, she really does prefer this type of correspondence.

  2. I think we have to all be partners in our children's educations, no matter how we talk. There are too many things that can go wrong and we all have to work together to help them succeed. Good for you for being proactive. No kid ever died of embarrassment, he'll thank you someday for helping him in school and helping him to become a successful adult! (spoken like the ex-teacher I am)

  3. I like Jenny's response!
    (and I will remember this when our days come!)

  4. Love Jenny's response above too! :)

    I've already had a few emails back and forth with Boyd's Pre-K teachers, and they were sweet and supportive and very good at getting right back to me. I think email is great, because it gives both parties time to think, and you can do it when you have a few minutes....there is no pressure.

    I love learning about parenting through your eyes!