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Can you email your teacher with questions/issues?

(29 Posts)
Cortina Mon 28-Sep-09 13:49:19

Is it usual to be able to email your child's teacher with your concerns etc?

MadreInglese Mon 28-Sep-09 13:51:55

It wasn't a facility at primary school, but now DD is at secondary school they encourage emailing with any concerns or questions as it's so hard to get hold of any of the teachers on the phone.

mankyscotslass Mon 28-Sep-09 13:52:17

We don't have that available at our Primary, but I do know that it is available at one of the high schools in the area.

I like the idea of it, but I am not sure how easy it would be to manage for the teacher, or when she would get the opportunity to answer the emails.

CNyle Mon 28-Sep-09 13:53:20


LadyMuck Mon 28-Sep-09 13:55:22

Have emailed ds1's last 2 teachers. The current one doesn't read her email, but has said that if we email the office she will get the message and deal with it. Can email office for ds2's teachers.

Cortina Mon 28-Sep-09 13:58:56

Meant really can you do it on a day to day basis? Would you use it for that?

katiestar Mon 28-Sep-09 14:00:53

We email the school office who passes the messages on the teacher concerned who phones you back.Same system both at primary and secondary.

LadyMuck Mon 28-Sep-09 14:07:53

Well I don't view that I would ever need to contact the teacher daily as such, but I would use it to ask a question that needed a brief response, or to inform the teacher of something that she needed to know eg hospital appt. For anything that would need more than a 1 sentence answer I would use email to set up a convenient time to talk.

That said I wouldn't expect a teacher to use email to contact me. I would expect a note or call.

MadreInglese Mon 28-Sep-09 14:11:24

Why would you need to speak to the teacher daily?

Hulababy Mon 28-Sep-09 14:26:39

Not usual IME. And no, I can't email 7y DD's class teacher. I can't see why I would need to either though. The teacher is available every day to speak to either before or after school so either me or DH can speak to her then.

I do have DD's last year's teachers e-mail but that is because I have exchanged personal emails with her after helping out so often. Never used it to speak about DD though.

In the school I work at (Y1 class) the parents cannot contact teh teachers by email either. Again, they can speak to the teacher daily either in a morning or after school, or by appointment.

AtheneNoctua Mon 28-Sep-09 15:17:40

I can send an e-mail to the school office which is then passed to the teacher, and a reply comes hanwritten on apiece of paper in the book bag a day or two later. At lease it worked this way with the year 1 teacher (last year). Last week I e-mailed her year two teacher because spelling came home in 3 groups and I had had no communication about groups or which one DD wa in. So I emailed her to ask which group and I got nothing beack. So, I'm afraid my e-mail communication may be foiled. And this is a problem for me because I physically go to the school gate about 5 times a year.

LIZS Mon 28-Sep-09 15:22:27

We have it available now but it is a recent thing. Now the kids are older we don't see their teachers at pick up to catch easily.

stealthsquiggle Mon 28-Sep-09 15:27:55

We don't - communication is via home-school book - so I often stick a note in there if I have any questions/need to let her know DS will be going home with someone else/whatever.

Since I often do drop-off in a tearing rush (and anyway if DS is not first in then she will be doing reading with whoever was) and pick-up from after school care the book is our main means of communication. Personally email would work even better for me, but I can see how it would become a PITA for the teacher.

asdx2 Mon 28-Sep-09 16:37:14

We are given the headmaster's mobile phone number to contact him out of school during holidays and weekends even shockWas absolutely gobsmacked tbh and was also shocked when he phoned on a sunday afternoon to discuss how dd was settling in.

Buda Mon 28-Sep-09 16:39:48

Have teacher's email and mobile number this year. She is very organised.

mrz Mon 28-Sep-09 17:21:02

Parents can email me but I would not give out my mobile or home number!

PortAndLemon Mon 28-Sep-09 17:23:06

Like katiestar, we can email the office who will pass messages back and forth -- although I think it's more usual to use that to set up a face-to-face meeting than as a means of substantive discussion.

trickerg Mon 28-Sep-09 19:49:59

I will answer questions sent through the office about the virtual learning environment (reply to complaints, etc, etc). I think we will have to be very careful and have policies in place when on-line reporting comes on line, particularly when parents have 'immediate' responses to their children's reports and want answers NOW!! I think that is the time when it will be of paramount importance to limit the accessibility of teachers' e-mail addresses. I can just imagine sitting with my third glass of wine, receiving an e-mail from a moany parent and answering tersely with 2 mono-syllabic words!!!

Here's an excerpt from a letter written by Jim Knight, (former) Minister of State for Schools and Learners that scares me a bit:

'The online reporting expectation does not therefore replace face-to-face and direct engagement, nor does it duplicate or replace the existing statutory requirement to report to parents annually, but will provide parents with up-to-date information at appropriate points through the year to maintain their interest and enable a richer dialogue. Following the joint discussions and looking at existing and emerging practice, Ministers are content at this stage not to specify the frequency of reporting, and schools will have the flexibility to determine what frequency best suits both the school and their parents and learners.'

How do secondary school teachers feel about this - I know you're ahead of primary schools here? Has it invaded your privacy at all? Has it made more work? Have you been contacted out of hours by disgruntled parents?

AtheneNoctua Mon 28-Sep-09 20:25:34

I don't hink that anyone who sends an e-mail has any right to expect an immediate resonse. Surely the e-mail is not different than a note that is slipped into the book bag. I don't respond to work e-mails when I've had a few. And, so I certainly would think it's reasonable for the teacher to respond to e-mail tomorrow, or the net day... sometime during his/her normal working hours.

But, as a working parent, typing an e-mail is so much easier than organising a hard copy letter to get into the book bag. But, it's fine if the response comes back a day or two later.

Sagacious Mon 28-Sep-09 20:30:43

dcs teachers are available just before and imediately after school

Don't think you need email TBH

BrigitBigKnickers Mon 28-Sep-09 20:34:42

Christ almighty- don't teachers have enough paperwork/ marking to do already without having to answers loads of e-mails every day too!

AtheneNoctua Mon 28-Sep-09 20:45:15

Why is it more work? And since when is communicating with parents not part of their job?

trickerg Mon 28-Sep-09 21:05:09

AN - I don't mind communicating with parents via the home reading diary, face-to-face, parents' interviews, end of year reports (and I'm quite willing to send these online), meetings during the year, end of day, start of day, fetes, music concerts, school trips... that kind of thing.

My worry (a worry, not a gripe) is that the more over-indulgent and helicopter parents will abuse the privilege of e-mail contact, so I think schools must have a stringent policy in place to avoid invasion of teachers' out-of-school hours. Some parents complain or ask about the most inconsequential things (e.g. 2 parents phoned last Fri morning to ask where their children's recorder lessons would be that lunch time - why?)... and some parents naively believe everything their children say.

AtheneNoctua Mon 28-Sep-09 21:26:27

Ah, but those are issues whether those parents are standing at the gate, on the phone, or sending an e-mail. Perhaps there is a more appropriate contact at the school to ask where lessons are than the teacher. I guess my issue is that I hardly ever appear at the school gate, but I still need a way to communicate with the teacher. And I can't imagine for a second that I am alone in this position.

I guess if you always take two days to respond to e-mail then people won't ask you silly last minute questions.

TheFallenMadonna Mon 28-Sep-09 21:32:01

I think daily contact with a teacher would be a good reason for withdrawing it as an option TBH. I would like to be able to communicate by email because the start of the day isn't a good time to chat, for the teacher or for DH, and our DC go to alfter school club, so there is no chance at the end of the day. But I am a very reasonable parent wink and could see that it could be abused by those less reasonable.

I occasionally send emails to parents of my secondary students, although I prefer to phone. I have occasionally been contacted by parents. But not often. Although there is one...

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