How much communication do you have with your teacher?

(22 Posts)
VandaHookeriana Thu 27-Feb-14 11:28:15

My child is year 3. They attend a fee paying, international school which costs an arm and a leg. I am a bit surprised at the communication or lack of at the school and want to see if I am unreasonable.

My child has a message book, but I have never received a message from the teacher. It is only used to tell her that he is getting picked up early etc.
There is a weekly email from the school which goes to everyone (about 1500 children) telling me what is going on in general. There is a weekly page (sometimes!) from the school for their grade, but this again is general and is to over 160 children.

As for individual communication, I possibly send my teacher about 1 email a month and only when it is something important because even when I do, I get a response about 3 days later and it is usually quite terse. I don't get acknowledgements when I send an email about being late or anything like that. On average we get a class email from the teacher about every 2-3 weeks. We are not allowed to drop off or pick up the children from the classroom and I have been asked why I am on the floor of their grade whenever I have dropped something off that my child forgot.

A while ago I had a few issues with my child and went up to the school to talk to them. It was quite a serious issue and when I asked to see them I was given an appointment 3 weeks later. At the meeting, another, more senior teacher was present and said I need to improve my communication with the teacher hmm

I'd like to get a snapshot of how much communication you have with your teacher.

teafor1 Thu 27-Feb-14 11:46:25

Wow, that is terrible. Mine go to a State school and we drop off/pick up from the classroom so if I need to I could have a small chat with the teacher every day if I wanted to (though I wouldn't of course!). For smaller things I ask the TA. This morning I asked the TA for an example joined up writing sheet so I can be consistent at home and she said no problem, she'll photocopy one and put it in DD book bag to take home. I've had 2 bigger more serious talks with the teacher after school and those were scheduled within 2 days. Those were on top of the parent teacher interviews. I would not be happy with your situation, especially since it's a fee paying school!

my2bundles Thu 27-Feb-14 11:46:34

We can see the teacher as much as we like, they are available before and after school if we want a quick word or we can make an appointment, they are very approachable. I never email them as I know they have enough on already without answering endless emails from parents.

Nonie241419 Thu 27-Feb-14 11:47:14

My children are at a state primary school. The KS1 teacher comes out at home time, so can be caught after school. The KS2 teachers don't come out, but it's fairly easy to catch them if I go in and ask. They are also willing to have a very quick chat at the beginning of the day if needed. There are no written communications specific to my children, just the general newsletters, with the exception of the annual report.

columngollum Thu 27-Feb-14 11:52:31

Almost none. We don't need much now. A while back we got stuck in one of those she can't read those books, they're for year X stupidities. But somehow it managed to fix itself all by itself and now we don't need anything.

dilbertina Thu 27-Feb-14 11:56:30

Small state school - all class teachers in playground before and after school if quick word needed, if longer/more private discussion needed then teacher will either make appointment in next couple of days or take you inside.

Prior to this school we were also at a large International ridiculously expensive fee-paying school (almost all pupils fees were paid by employers of Expats.) At that school the teachers came out with pupils into playground at end of day and were available for a quick word or to make a further appointment in the next few days.

Yours does sound pretty rubbish! Is there any sort of Parent Forum where this could be raised?

VandaHookeriana Thu 27-Feb-14 11:57:25

teafor, I am not expecting more communication because we pay for it. I just think that whether this is an expensive school, or the local one back home, I think the communication is very poor.

When I ask my class colleagues, some of them say they have not spoken to the teacher since November.

They also have a no homework policy so I really do not know what is going on.

Kaekae Thu 27-Feb-14 11:58:28

My children go to a state infant school. We get quite an in-depth termly letter to let us know what they will be covering with the children. I find this very useful. We are able to make an appointment with our teacher at anytime and our class teacher is always by the entrance either morning or afternoon. We can to pass on a message via the TA if needs be. We have a reading communication book and teacher comments are always very detailed. We hardly get any newsletters from the Head Teacher which is a bug bear of mine, I like to know what the school as a whole has been up to!

redskyatnight Thu 27-Feb-14 12:27:33

That is way more communication than we get.
There is a general school newsletter once a month
A year group newsletter once a term.
And that's it.

If you want to comunicate with the teacher you have to leave a note in your child's diary or request an appointment.

We had way more communication in infant school though - wondering if some of the responders above have younger children?

MRSJWRTWR Thu 27-Feb-14 14:38:39

DS2 (Y3) is at a medium sized prep school (not London) and the accessibility of his teacher is one of the things I am most impressed about. She is usually in the classroom at dropping off time and pick up for quick queries. For anything more, emails are answered the same day and appointments scheduled promptly. DS2 has a school diary which is checked everyday for messages as well. We get texts and emails on various things from being aware of parking issues due to a netball tournament going on to reminders that afterschool clubs start that week.

We also get emailed a weekly newsletter.

This is all vastly different to his previous much larger primary school.

TeenAndTween Thu 27-Feb-14 15:09:13

Single form entry state primary.
I can 'see' the teacher every morning and afternoon as children go directly from playground into classroom and teacher is by the door. If I need a quick word (30sec) I can have one, or I can ask to see teacher after school if needed.
Otherwise fortnightly newsletters from school, work sharing once per term, 2 parents evenings per year.
Same process across the whole school.

Elibean Thu 27-Feb-14 15:35:43

Ditto last post - teacher there for 30 second chats in morning, or longer after school with or without appointment usually. That's in KS1, and Foundation - KS2 the teacher doesn't come down with them always, though is usually around after school if needed for chat and always possible to make appointment.

Weekly newletter from Head/school.

2-form entry, state primary, open door policy. Head and deputy usually easily available for chats if needed too.

Adikia Fri 28-Feb-14 03:25:43

DS is year 5 in a state school, we get a monthly newsletter, a short comment in the homework diary once a week (i.e. 'has tried really hard this week and worked well, please work on 9 times table') reports and parents evening once a term, reminders if there's anything important happening, staff are always available after school or will call you back the same day and school policy is to arrange urgent appointments next day, non-urgent within 1 week.

DD in reception at a private school, short daily note (usually along the lines of 'did well in x today' or 'please practice y' plus any concerns/or telling me DD had a headache etc.) parents evening once a term, school newsletter once a term, class newsletter with timetable/list of topics every half term and notices as and when needed, teacher available before and after school and aim to make appointments same day where possible.

There are only 120 children in DD's school and 360 in DS's though so a lot less parents for them to contact, both schools will email newsletters out but neither reply to email, it's notes via DC, going into the office or phone calls if I want to contact them.

anotherverydullusername Fri 28-Feb-14 10:21:00

RedSky that's more than us I think.

We get a monthly school wide newsletter. 2x 10 min parents evenings a year plus a report at the end of varying usefulness depending on the teacher.

At the start of the year there is a presentation of key info e.g. which day is PE and topic for each half term but it's very top level. At the end of the year there is an open evening to view work but we can also see it at parents' evenings before our session (did not used to be the case - parents had to request this).

No termly newsletter from your class teacher, no reading diary or homework filled in by them.

It is widely said that the head likes to keep parents at a distance as they think we are all pushy but in reality the majority of us simply want to be informed and sufficiently involved to help our children.

cloutiedumpling Fri 28-Feb-14 11:20:24

Anothervery - our school is very similar. I would like more communication.

Meglet Fri 28-Feb-14 11:32:42

Loads. Medium size primary (both dc's in infants).

I see the teachers almost every day, quick hello and chat at drop off / pick up. We can go in the classroom to see what the kids have been doing any day after school. On the handful of times I've had a major concern I've been able to arrange a meeting with the teacher within 48hrs and spent 15 mins or so having a chat and sorting things out. 2 parents evenings a year and an open evening in July where we can meet the new teacher for Sept.

Head in playground most days, she knows the kids by name, even lots of the younger siblings who are yet to start. She is also available to speak to parents privately if needed. I think the junior school teachers also come out in the playground at the end of the day so parents can chat with them.

Lots of opportunities for parents to come to meetings, activity days , coffee mornings etc. Weekly newsletters, good website.

It's partly why I chose the school. I wanted to know that if I had any worries the school would be there to support my DC's.

noramum Fri 28-Feb-14 12:14:10

State infant, DD is in Y2

We drop off/pick up in the playground. The teacher is there but unless i have something to say I send DD in as soon as the door opens and run to get my train.

We get an email from the school on weekly basis plus each half term a sheet with the current topics. Homework now comes by email as well. Each term comes a letter with diary dates.

Emails are send to the office and forwarded if necessary. A reply is normally send before the day is over.

We had an issue with bullying in Reception and as soon as we contacted the school I had the head on the phone arranging a meeting. The head knows the children by heart and all the parents as well.

Meglet Fri 28-Feb-14 12:26:23

nora we get a topic / worksheet at the start of every term too. I use it as a heads up to get relevant books from the library, days out, relevant programmes on TV.

Our head encourages parents / carers to get involved with the school. At the start of every academic year she points out that children are only at school for approx 30hrs a week and we all need to work together to support them.

ChocolateWombat Fri 28-Feb-14 15:01:14

I think what the OP is getting is reasonable, except having to wait 3 weeks to see a teacher. I am assuming you have had a parents evening or two, as well.

Not sure what 121 communication you are expecting. The day to day info about what is going on comes out in the newsletter. It isn't very personal, but doesn't need to be. You have a book, to jot down a query if you have one. Have you raised any questions through the book? Generally speaking, it wil be for you to raise the issue, not the teacher, unless something vital has happened in the day that you absolutely must know about.

Have you had written reports or grades or a parents evening, to get specific advice about your child's progress? These are usually spread through the year so you are being updated at least once a term.

Regarding seeing the teacher to speak to daily, your daughter in in Year 3 and by the. The school are aiming to build independence. Children don't need help hanging up their coat and teachers don't need to speak to everyone in person. A note in the contact book should cover it. Not good though, if there is no speedy reply or if you have to wait 3 weeks for an appointment. I think you should raise that issue with the Head of Prep.

OP just wondered if you were at school somewhere else, than the UK and it is different here, so you aren't quite sure what to expect?

NotMoreFootball Fri 28-Feb-14 17:28:45

My DS (9) is at an International fee paying school and we get the following:
Teachers are available by appointment before and after school, or during the day if the class are with one of the specialist teachers. Pick up and drop off is done through a car line so difficult to grab a teacher at the end of the day.
We get a weekly email from the class teacher letting us know which topics wil be covered the following week and any test dates.
All class work and homework is marked and sent home the following Monday for us to look at and then return to school.
The primary school head sends a general weekly email, as does the head of the whole school.
The head also emails us photos and updates of special events as soon as they happen, eg yesterday we had photos of the class taking part in 'the Winter Olympics'
Two parents evenings a year.

fromparistoberlin Sat 01-Mar-14 23:28:55

for a fee paying international school, this is TERRIBLE

i have naff all communication but (a) I never do school run and (b) so far I dont feel like I need any and (C) my kids goes to a very busy inner city school

but for a fees paying school, sheesh! kick up a fuss OP!

I don't know what she looks like

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