Parents are a very important component of your day to day work relationship with your students, the Administration, and District you work for and nowadays, when some districts have given the parents so much power, I will advise you to be careful and cognizant of that power. Keep our friendly parents close and the unfriendly closer because those are the ones that can get you in real trouble. Even if you think you’re right, more than likely, the district will side with the parents in fear of a lawsuit. Unfortunately, that’s where it all begins lately.
Parents are also very important to the success of your students because they are your partners in education. They will assist you to make sure their child meets the following tasks:
- Assessments, and
- Other problems
When you keep your parents informed of all the situations that come up in the daily endeavors of your classroom, your chances of building a great relationship with them are greater. Keep in touch through email, letters, short notes, phone calls, etc. Keep track of these contact methods in your discipline book. Be aware that at any time, that same parent can cause you problems. Make sure that every single call, note, communication, is documented in your discipline book.
Sometimes there are other problems that take place in your classroom, or it may be that your student has some Learning Disabilities and you need to keep track of his behavior. Again, keep track of your notes in a safe place such as your discipline notebook. If you have a positive relationship with the parents and you keep communicating with them by phone or sending emails and notes to keep them updated about their child’s behavior at school or his grades, etc. In some cases, there have been teachers that have had problems with parents, even with those that were close to her.
Some parents might not reply to your calls or emails. It doesn’t hurt to have papers showing you did try to communicate with them. Make sure they are dated and timed, if possible.
Some teachers had faced upsetting situations when the parents had gone and complained to the administration and in some cases; teachers that were removed from their classrooms. Sounds unreal? It is not. Just a few weeks ago, a friend of mine had that situation happened in her school and even though the teacher that was removed was paid full salary, just the thought of the district’s injustice is unreal. Parents of a child complained about this seasoned teacher and said she had spanked her child; so the administration walked her out of the school and suspended her. After a couple of months, she was returned to the classroom without previously telling her that everything was OK. No excuses, no explanation, just welcome back statement and that was it! But it could have turned the opposite and the teacher could have lost her job. That means she has to hire a lawyer, the union, it’s a headache.
In my 20 years of experience as a teacher, I have used the “Editable Conduct Notebook”. It has helped me and my coworkers to keep this type of documentation safe and accurate throughout my career. It keeps all my communications with parents, whether it’s on the phone or in writing in a safe place. It also helps when meeting with the Administration concerning absences, discipline, and tardiness.
This is what I’m talking about:
You can also check it out at my store on Teachers Pay Teachers! It’s editable, so you can add those days that are Holidays or Professional Development in your Districts. You can customize the coverpage (not included here). Make sure you visit us at The Bilingual Teacher Store on Teachers Pay Teachers.
Please let me know what you think about this article.
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