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Parent/teacher meeting tomorrow - looking for teacher help?

(10 Posts)
bananaistheanswer Mon 10-Oct-11 14:52:38

Hello,

I'm looking for some help on how to broach a subject with DD's teacher tomorrow without getting her back up/causing offence etc. It's about communication between me/school. I have had cause to place a note in DD's bag twice about an issue that has been causing problems. I've had no reply to either note. I then emailed the school, about same issue, and again got no reply/acknowledgement. I know the issue was eventually dealt with as DD did mention that the teacher was doing something that I'd asked for (not the only thing, but the main thing) but I wasn't given any response to either note or email, and it would have been good to get some kind of acknowledgement or feedback etc. I don't think i can have this meeting without mentioning it, but it's how to mention it without making it obvious how pissed off I am that she wouldn't/couldn't answer or acknowledge my query/request.

I don't expect a teacher to drop everything to respond to me, but placing a note in a homework book doesn't seem alot to ask does it? Or even an emailed reply to the email I sent? I'd like to be able to establish communication lines, not where I continually pester but where if an issue arises I can at least get a message to the teacher, and she can somehow respond. So, do you have any suggestions on how to do this without getting a name for myself (if I haven't got one already grin)?

I work so drop DD off well before school starts (and before teacher anywhere to be seen) and don't collect as DD goes to child minder/gran/after school care so I never get the chance to speak to the teacher in person.

Takver Mon 10-Oct-11 15:22:25

Not sure I have any great answers, but at least this will bump for you.

Could you turn it the other way round - ask how they would like you to communicate? Explain what you've said in your last para, that as you work you can't be there at pick up time, and ask what would be the easiest for the teacher. Hopefully then they will remember that they haven't answered you grin

Also, do be aware that they may not necessarily have got your email - I think school spam filters etc are ferocious, and I know that when I sent an email to dd's HT it got automatically routed to her 'junk' folder. (Luckily she was waiting for the email so got in touch to ask why I hadn't contacted her!)

bananaistheanswer Mon 10-Oct-11 18:08:42

Thanks for that, I never thought of the spam thing. Tbh, I think they did get it, as it was after that DD said teacher asked her to wait with her at the end of class (day after I sent email) but obviously missed the part that said I'm not there to collect her.

I'll try that suggestion - hopefully I won't make an arse of it and get myself the 'annoying parent' label! Mind you, it's probably too late for that now...

dikkertjedap Mon 10-Oct-11 18:42:14

I agree with banana, it may be best to ask teacher what the best way is to get in touch with her given your working hours and pick up /drop off arrangements.

Ultimately, I would think that the most important thing is that your issue has been dealt with, so I would not make a big thing out of it. You may not think that it is a lot of work to write a note and put it in the book bag but if the teacher has a large class then I doubt she'll have time to do this.

bananaistheanswer Mon 10-Oct-11 21:07:51

Thanks for your input again. Can I just ask, assuming you are also a teacher dikkertjedap, how do you deal with this scenario? I understand teachers are busy and have a lot to deal with, but being ignored on 3 separate occasions, when I am looking to resolve an ongoing issue doesn't seem right to me. I'd like to understand why I had no response, when one of the reasons I'd asked for her input/help was because DD was not a reliable source of information! She's p2 - 6 yrs old, and has the attention span of a gnat (no exaggeration). If there are alternative methods of communication that I could suggest, to deal with the issue or any other future issue, then I'd love to know how other teachers deal with this sort of thing.

Thanks.

teacherwith2kids Mon 10-Oct-11 21:12:33

We have home-school diaries which double as reading diaries. We write in them when a child is read with (guided or individual reading), parents do the same.

If we have a message for the parent, we write it in the reading diary. If they have a message for us, they write it in (e.g. if a child is going home with someone different, we require a note in the reading diary to authorise it). All children put their reading diaries and reading books into a special tray each day and either I or a TA checks them quickly for messages at some point in the first hour or two of school. I then reply to any that need replying to e.g. during break or lunchtime or whatever.

bananaistheanswer Mon 10-Oct-11 21:42:31

Thanks for that. I might ask about that - DD doesn't have a diary as such but she does have a homework jotter which the teacher writes in when marking her work. I didn't feel right adding something to that, hence the note, but I guess I could ask if it would be OK to add something to that? I'll have a wee browse at the shops tomorrow and see of I can find something that might work, in case there she's not happy with me writing in the jotter. Thanks again!

SE13Mummy Mon 10-Oct-11 23:50:59

I'm an e-mail fan (as a teacher and as a parent) and encourage all the parents of the children in my class to e-mail me if there are things they'd like to ask/tell me/arrange an appointment etc. etc.

Two of my class have contact/message books that I write in daily and all have homework books. TBH it's often a TA who marks the homework so any notes put in there mayn't be picked up and responded to unless I am particularly expecting a parent to have commented on the homework e.g. if we had already exchanged messages about homework issues.

My suggestion would be that you telephone the school office and ask for the teacher's e-mail address, unless it is on the school website. That way you can send an e-mail direct to the teacher (copying in the Head if you feel happier knowing someone else will receive your message too) instead of hoping that the admin/office e-mail address will be checked and that whoever checks it will automatically forward the message to the appropriate teacher.

In the e-mail state explicitly when you are available to meet/be telephoned and request a reply i.e. "please would you reply to this message just so I know it has reached you as previous e-mails to the school have bounced". You could also state that you are happy for your DD's childminder/gran to be given messages to pass on if that is the case.

Another alternative is to write a letter, on paper and hand it into the school office when your DD is dropped off for breakfast club. I am regularly handed letters by children and always try to follow them up even if it is via a reply on the bottom of the same letter blush.

cat64 Tue 11-Oct-11 00:14:24

Message withdrawn

bananaistheanswer Tue 11-Oct-11 00:19:36

That's really helpful SE13, thanks. I don't know if the teacher has her own email address, hence me sending my last email to the only one listed. It was to the head teacher blush so I'm a bit worried she'll think I tried to land her in it! Never thought of the school office, will bear that in mind as well. I've now got a few suggestions so I'll see how it goes and I'll casually drop it into the conversation and see what she says.

Thanks for all the replies, very helpful indeed!

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