Ms. Hadi’s Guidelines for Teacher, Parent, and Student Communication

Introduction:
As students get older and become more responsible and autonomous it is the expectation that students learn to communicate effectively with their teacher. It is the responsibility of the students to use teacher websites, “study buddies,” and face-to-face communication to get the information and help they need to be successful. Moreover, it is the expectation that parents will model respectful, professional dialogue with teachers.
Ms. Hadi believes that the best and most effective form of communication is in person, and the next best form is a phone call. Emails should be reserved only for emergencies or for communicating illness.

Three Steps to foster effective communication:
If there is a concern about a school matter, these are the steps students and parents should follow:

Step 1
The student should respectfully ask the teacher about an appropriate time when they could discuss the issue. The student should come prepared to that meeting with any assignments or information they need to discuss. Students should remember to speak respectfully and avoid threatening language. Students should make sure they are exercising patience before addressing a non-urgent issue, i.e. waiting a reasonable amount of time before asking about an ungraded assignment. It is best if the student is inquisitive rather than accusative, for example: asking “Do you have any no-name papers for the last assignment?” is helpful while saying “You lost my assignment!” is not.

Step 2
If after the student has spoken to the teacher, the issue is unresolved, the parent should discuss their concern or issue with the classroom teacher at a mutually convenient time. The parent should call the school at 619-656-2400 to set up an appointment for a phone conversation or parent-teacher conference. Most situations are resolved at this level. Parents should come prepared to ask questions and offer support. Parents should avoid accusations or unprofessional discourse.

Step 3
If the parent and the teacher are unable to resolve the issue, the matter should be discussed with a counselor or assistant principal (or designate). The counselor or assistant principal will clarify the problem and work to resolve the matter as quickly as possible. Parents should not skip Step 2 before proceeding to Step 3.


General E-mail Guidelines for Parent Communication: E-mail may be a fast and convenient way for you to send messages, but this is not the case for many teachers, including Ms. Hadi. Some teachers read their e-mail messages in the morning before school, some read them at the end of the day, and some read them during the school day. Many teachers prefer to use the phone to speak directly to parents.
For these reasons, please remember if you choose to send an e-mail message you may not get an immediate reply. In fact you may not receive an e-mail reply at all, since Ms. Hadi will determine how best to contact you: by e-mail, phone, or to schedule a personal conference. Ms. Hadi will most likely be contacting you by phone. Again, emails should be reserved only for emergencies or for communicating illness unless absolutely necessary.

When using e-mail:
1.Please send only non-vital messages by this medium. A teacher may not have time to read your message in a timely fashion. Instead use the telephone to be sure your message is received and clearly understood.

2.Your child’s academic progress, learning expectations, or behavioral issues are best addressed through a telephone conversation or by scheduling a personal conference with your child's teacher. An e-mail message on these matters is not appropriate.

3.Please identify yourself in the subject line of your e-mail message and, if appropriate, the name of your child. Include a phone number and when you can be reached if needed.

4.For all medical or health concerns, please contact the school nurse by phone.

5.Please keep all contacts professional. Jokes, amusing or special stories, chain letters, or commercial solicitations are inappropriate and reduce valuable teaching time.

6.Be diplomatic. You can't take back an email message. Be calm, choose your words carefully and avoid criticizing the teacher. Don't write and send an email when you are angry.

Remember that e-mail is a quick way to send a message, but it is not necessarily the best way to get a quick reply. Follow the same guidelines for any professional communication. Also:
  • Be brief and stick to the point.
  • Use upper and lower case, not all caps (that's considered shouting).
  • Stick to school-related matters.
  • Don't forward someone else's email, including a teacher's, unless you have their permission.