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In this day in age, the easiest way to communicate with your child’s teacher is often through an email. Not only is it usually the quickest way to get in touch, but it’s also usually the quickest way to get a response.
As a teacher myself, I can tell you firsthand that I personally appreciate communication with parents. Email makes this a reality for many families who normally wouldn’t be able to call during a school day or meet right after or before school. Email also provides a chance for parents and teachers to communicate back and forth on a regular basis.
Here are some do’s and don’ts when it comes to emailing your child’s teacher:
DO address your child’s teacher by their formal name. It is easy in an email to slip into calling someone by their first name or addressing it with “Hi Lisa,”. However, it is important to remember that when you are emailing your child’s teacher, you are emailing a professional. So, unless he or she has told you to said otherwise, it is important to use Mr, Ms. or Mrs.
DON’T use texting or social media shortcuts or slang in your emails. Please take the time to type out words instead of numbers or single letters to stand for things. Sometimes it can take a long time to decipher the texting lingo for someone like me who is so out of that loop!
DO make sure you sign the email and sign it how you want to be addressed. Sometimes I will get an email from firstname.lastname@example.org without a parent signature at the end. Then that leaves me having to respond, asking who it is that is sending the email. Also, it is very helpful that if you want to be called Mr., Mrs., Dr., etc…, that you sign the email with the same title you wish to go by. This helps teachers know how to address you when they speak to you, whether it’s in a future email, phone call or conference in person.
DO start off the email with something positive. When your child comes home with something that you are upset about, this can be very hard. As a parent, I have written an email, saved it, and edited it the next day when I’ve cooled down. I always try to remember that there are three perspectives to every story: The student’s perspective, the teacher’s perspective, and what really happened. State what concerns you have and ask the teacher for their perspective on the situation.
DON’T automatically email the principal. Many times, a simple miscommunication has been made somewhere along the line between the student, teacher and parent. If you are having a problem with the teacher, try emailing the teacher first and see what the response is. If you are not satisfied with the response, then you can work your way up the chain of command. As a rule of thumb, it is a good idea to only go to the principal if you are not able to solve a problem at the classroom level.
DO remember that you are your child’s number one advocate! You are also your child’s first educator. You know your child better than anyone else. If your child is struggling, let your child’s teacher know. If your child is breezing through everything, let your child’s teacher know. Keep those lines of communication open so you can have a successful year.
Are you getting ready for a Parent/Teacher Conference? We have a guide for that straight from the teacher’s mouth, too! Check it out HERE.