Better School Communication for Parents

As parents, it’s important that we communicate certain things to the teachers in our lives. After all, these people have our kiddos in their hands 6+ hours each day. It can be frustrating for them to have major things thrown at them last minute, or to be inundated with emails.

There are definitely a few Do’s and Don’t’s for better school communication for parents, and I’m happy to share them with you.

Plus, I’ll throw in a FREE communication checklist printable along the way!

School Communication TipsParent Communication – Do:

  • Let your teacher know if your child will be out because of illness promptly. A call to the office doesn’t always mean that the teacher gets the message!
  • Inform your teacher of any lengthy non-illness related absences well in advance. For example, should your family be taking a trip to Disney in February while school is in session, your teacher should be informed 2-3 weeks prior to this trip. And you should bring her a souvenir.
  • Contact your teacher with any concerns about academics. Remember to keep the initial email light in tone and non accusatory. It’s best not to make a mountain out of a molehill until AFTER you have talked to the teacher and gotten his/her professional insight.
  • Send in written notes regarding any change in dismissal.
  • Send in notes about impending absences (see: vacations).
  • Send in notes about anything. Use my multi-purpose form to customize your notes: A Note to the Teacher
  • Use the email address and phone number provided by the school to contact your teacher during regular school hours.
  • Read the class or school newsletter and any fliers that come home from school.
  • Remember that the teacher is a highly educated and certified professional. S/he uses research based teaching practices to construct lessons, and must follow state/district mandated curriculum.

School Communication Tips (1)Parent Teacher Communication – Don’t:

  • Contact the teacher using their personal email or phone. It can make it seem as though the teacher is giving preferential treatment, which can result in reprimands.
  • Assume the teacher is “out to get” your child. There are two sides (or more) to every story. Be sure to get her side before passing judgement.
  • Ask for make-up work for vacations at the last minute.
  • If given work to do while out of school, ensure your child completes it and returns it in a timely fashion.
  • Call or email the teacher over every little thing. There are at least 20 other students in this class. Imagine if the teacher got one email or phone call a day from each parent!
  • Expect a response outside of normal working hours. Yes, teachers put in hundred of hours of work outside of the school day. And between 7:30am and 5:00pm, most are at their school and able to reply to your communications. But an email sent at 0dark30am or after 8:00pm will be sitting in the inbox until the next business day. Ditto for weekend emails.
  • Forget to ask if the teacher needs volunteers or help! (Ok, this is more of a DO, but seriously, don’t forget this!)

How do you manage communications with your child’s teacher?


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5 thoughts on “Better School Communication for Parents

  1. I practice all of these. We have an automated call in system for absentees, but I always send the teacher or teachers (in the case of middle schooler) if they will be absent. In that email I ask for any classwork to be sent home with a sibling, sent to the office (I will pick it up), or sent home with a friend (middle school child, she has quite a bit of homework from STEM) or just requesting it to be sent home upon their return. There are times I need to ask teachers questions and may send an email at odd hours, they always apologize for not getting back in touch with me 1st thing the following morning. Never do I expect them to get back 1st thing that morning and explain to them 0dark hours is when I send emails. Agree totally with volunteering!!!! A MUST for me!!


    1. Woohoo! It sounds like you are a teacher’s dream parent! I’ve had parents email at 9-11pm and who were upset that there wasn’t an immediate response to them. I’ve also had parents who were concerned, but never brought the issues to my attention. Hopefully, putting my best tips in communication for parents from a teacher’s perspective will help everyone get what they need, when they need it!
      Please feel free to Pin and share this on any social media platforms!


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