Why don't some teachers bother to reply to emails?

(74 Posts)
RoooneyMara Fri 28-Jun-13 16:44:38

I sent ds1's teacher an email in March - quite a detailed one, about maybe 4 paragraphs about ds having some difficulties with his work, and wondering how it will affect his 11 plus (he is y5)

No response for a few weeks - then 'I will talk to the senco and see what she says'.
This was in April - heard nothing since.

Meeting the other day with HT and class teacher - it was not mentioned, I forgot, they were probably glad I forgot. I emailed that night - asking how she had got on with the senco as I'd forgotten to bring it up at the meeting.

No response. This is over a week ago.
Then yesterday theclub she runs after school was cancelled (apparently this was known last week) and no email or letter was sent out resulting in my being 45 minutes late to collect ds.
School called me after 25 minutes of him sitting in the office hmm

I emailed politely last night asking why they hadn't let it be known the club was cancelled, also why no one had called for so long.

No reply.

I don't understand what I'm meant to do next. They clearly just don't give a sh*t do they?

MaybeBentley Fri 28-Jun-13 20:56:46

Surely in a primary school they (HT) can speak to them (teacher) face-to-face. I think its a sad world when communication has to be electronic.

juniper9 Fri 28-Jun-13 21:23:49

We're two form entry. And we stay in our own classrooms, so if she wants to see us then she knows where we are...

I very much doubt my Head knows how to use the email system. I have never received an email from her.

I didn't say age was an excuse, I said it was one of the factors. Lots of the older teachers are not tech savvy, nor do they have any interest in technology. Getting them to use the whiteboards is hard enough.

ipadquietly Fri 28-Jun-13 21:27:57

shock Even our lunchtime supervisors have school e-mail addresses that they use!

Phew - at least they're using white boards!

(BTW I am a very old teacher! grin)

ipadquietly Fri 28-Jun-13 21:30:32

maybe E-mail gets the message to everyone in one second. A HT walking around the school to give the same message to every teacher will take ages (and she's bound to miss someone!)

Email is an expedient system of communication.

ProphetOfDoom Fri 28-Jun-13 21:34:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Euphemia Fri 28-Jun-13 21:37:54

maybe E-mail gets the message to everyone in one second. A HT walking around the school to give the same message to every teacher will take ages (and she's bound to miss someone!) Email is an expedient system of communication.

Sorry, I am too busy teaching children to be reading my email. hmm

RoooneyMara Fri 28-Jun-13 21:39:39

Interesting discussion isn't it, thankyou everyone...she did get my first one because she replied to it (after a few weeks, it may have been a shorter time, I can't recall now)

I don't know what's going on, but communication has got noticeably worse in the last year and I don't know why.

I'll have a word when I see her.

ipadquietly Fri 28-Jun-13 21:39:56

Huh?
How long does it take to read an email? shock

Euphemia Fri 28-Jun-13 21:42:53

Seriously, ipad? You really think it's acceptable for a teacher to read email in class?! Never!

I see my job as working with the children for the five hours per day they are in class: email is for other parts of the day.

carolthesecretary Fri 28-Jun-13 21:44:26

Totally bizarre.

I would actually think it is a very good way to contact a teacher. You've outlined the problem and if she doesn't want to converse on email then you can arrange a time that is convenient to you both. Not getting a reply (of any sort) within a week is just plain rude (if she has definitely received it).

This is actually how most of the modern world operates.

Having said that, some people are just plain useless at coming back to you. I spend most of my life kicking people up the backside to provide info/answers. "Yeah, don't worry the CEO only needs it for the Board Meeting on Monday... You sit there and enjoy your cream cake..." Gah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ipadquietly Fri 28-Jun-13 21:47:38

euphemia Who said anything about reading an e-mail during lessons? There are other opportunities - before school, break, lunch, after school.

Euphemia Fri 28-Jun-13 21:49:21

In the OP's case, I would complain to the school if they are encouraging communication by email, then emails are going ignored. That's unacceptable.

In my school there's a school email address which is publicised, but teachers' addresses are not. The HT communicates with us verbally, in the classroom if it's urgent or in the staffroom at break- or lunchtime otherwise. She sends us an email every week outlining what's happening in the coming week (external visitors, assemblies, etc.), but she never uses email when she's looking for a quick response to something.

ipadquietly Fri 28-Jun-13 21:54:51

Wow euphemia I am gobsmacked.
I can't imagine how I would remember all the information I get by e-mail, particularly if it required immediate action.

MaybeBentley Fri 28-Jun-13 21:57:03

Are you a primary teacher ipad? I've just become a parent governor and the last meeting had a policy explicitly banning staff from reading emails when children are around. And I spent a day in school ... the teachers didn't pause all day (they did send me to the staff room to get myself a cup of tea, but I wasn't allowed to bring them back a cup of hot drink!) so I doubt they'd have time to log on to their emails during the school day. The teacher said she checks once she gets home, so even at best the communication from the HT would be read hours later.

ipadquietly Fri 28-Jun-13 22:04:49

I don't read e-mails when the children are around!
I don't pause during the day (which means I spend very little time in the staffroom to receive messages from a roaming HT).
I do check e-mails when I get home, or before I start in the morning (or in PPA time).
A 'few hours later' is generally fine for most e-mails. Why would that be a problem?

I can't believe there are schools out there not using e-mail for communication!

juniper9 Sat 29-Jun-13 00:15:57

ipadquietly, if you're in the NUT or NASUWT then maybe you should read their advice about checking emails in your own time. It's part of the action short of strike action.

Incidentally, although I am a union rep, I check my email a few times a day, but that's just because I'm a nerd grin

juniper9 Sat 29-Jun-13 00:16:27

oops... too many square brackets -and dodgy, made up code
grin

ipadquietly Sat 29-Jun-13 00:29:03

Haha Union rep too (the non-striking one).
Also nerd.
grin

carolthesecretary Sat 29-Jun-13 00:43:35

An email doesn't require an instance response and no one is suggesting that teachers should be checking them during the day when children are around.

Some very strange reactions on here. I don't understand why so many teachers are against email. It saves me masses of time. I ask a question on email at work (which takes me 10 seconds to type) and I get an answer. If I ask the same question in person or over the telephone it can take 5 or 10 minutes because the conversation normally includes random crap that I don't even need or want to discuss (i.e. weather, how I am today, how last week's conference went, blah blah blah).

ipadquietly Sat 29-Jun-13 01:03:11

carol. I agree...very strange (and scary). I thought teachers had passed through the bad patch when half a training course was taken up with switching on the computer.
As you say, e-mail is such a time saver: it ensures that everyone gets it and you have proof that you've sent it! Triple whammy!

ravenAK Sat 29-Jun-13 01:09:59

We are expected to distribute cards with our school email addy to students when they first come up in year 7.

It's also made explicit to parents that all email addresses are staff.initialsurname@ourschool.org.uk, & parents are positively encouraged to contact individual subject teachers using this.

If a parent emailed me, I'd usually be expected to respond within 24 hours. It might just be an acknowledgment saying I'd ring/reply properly later, although I usually try just to deal with emails once only, but certainly if the parent then contacted the HT to complain that that I hadn't replied at all within say a week, absolute max - I'd be given a bollocking.

MidniteScribbler Sat 29-Jun-13 01:43:22

We provide a classroom handbook to each student at the start of the year, and each teacher includes their own prefrnces for being contacted. Some prefer a call, others are on email. I say that I welcome emails, but to please be aware that I do not check emails during the day, but will provide a response within two working days. This gives me the chance to get the email at night, and I may respond immediately, or I may need to consult with my head/other staff/etc the next day and write a response the following night. I also state that email may not be checked on weekends or school holidays, so please be patient during those times (although I do check on weekends and most days on the holidays except for my three week "no work" break during the summer holidays).

If you haven't received a response, then ask. No point sitting and fuming about it.

RoooneyMara Sat 29-Jun-13 10:26:34

Thanks everyone. I have chased it up (10 days ago) and not received any response to that email either.

This is why I think they don't care. Anyway as suggested I'll try and find her somewhere, at some point, and collar her about it. She'll say 'I'll get back to you'.

sigh

ipadquietly Sat 29-Jun-13 13:26:40

Are you sure the name hasn't got a number after it that you've missed? Is the teacher's surname a common one?

RoooneyMara Sat 29-Jun-13 13:28:27

yes, it is only a small school, though I appreciate the idea.

I think I just replied to the last one she sent me, anyway! smile

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