A Parent Hung Up On Me Today!

Discussion in 'General Education' started by YoungTeacherGuy, Sep 8, 2011.

  1. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Sep 8, 2011

    Each year, I make it a point to call each parent and tell them something positive about their child (I usually do this in early September). It starts the year off on a positive note.

    Anyway, here was a conversation from this evening: Me: "Hi. May I please speak with Mrs. _______" Lady: "Nah. She ain't here." CLICK.

    I didn't even have an opportunity to say who I was or where I was calling from. She didn't give me a chance. I know it was her, too, because I didn't call the house phone--I called her cell phone.

    This has never happened to me! I was calling with good news, too!

    UGH! :mad:
     
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  3. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    ...shaking head...
     
  4. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    I doubt they knew it was you.
     
  5. Zelda~*

    Zelda~* Devotee

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    They might have thought you were a bill collector or telemarketer. I'd go with who you are first, and then ask for the person you want to speak with. :)
     
  6. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    I should've consulted with you beforehand, Zelda! Good advice and I think you're right on all accounts!!! :thumb:
     
  7. each1teach1

    each1teach1 Cohort

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    *Stephanie Tanner voice* How Rude!
     
  8. orangepurple

    orangepurple Companion

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    Last year, I kept trying to call one kid's house and never got anywhere. The kid told me that his parents were never going to answer if the school number came up on caller ID, because they had gotten tired of all the calls from his teachers the previous year!

    I have also had a parent hang up on angrily after telling me too many teachers had called that day about her daughter's tardies and behavior. I guess the kid was having a particularly bad day! We are required to call for the second and third tardies, so it's not like we are just calling for no reason.
     
  9. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    Were you calling on a school phone? In my school the system automatically hides the number. This means that people who have unknown numbers barred won't receive calls and those that don't have this will not know who is calling. When we phone our opening statement is always 'This is Mr blazer from your daughter's school' That way they get to know who it is right off.
     
  10. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    I agree w/ Zelda~*. Always try to ID yourself as early in the call as possible. Maybe someone the parent didn't want to talk to just called minutes before you called & she thought it was the same person calling right back...who knows. I'd give them the benefit of the doubt this time.
     
  11. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Well, the good news is that it wasn't the parent who hung up on you-- apparently she left her cell phone home.

    Had she not wanted to speak to you, she simply wouldn't have answered the call.
     
  12. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    :hijack:I had a head shaking moment this year too. :dizzy: I sent an email to a parent saying that I was seeing some great things from her child and would like to nominate him for the gifted program. The parent sent me an email back and asked what kinds of things I was seeing because she did not realize that her child was having problems. She said she did not think he was special education material and would I please get back with her about my concerns.

    Ummm.... No. Your child is academically advanced. And I said I was seeing GREAT things. I was stunned. And I NEVER said the words special education.

    I just sent an email back saying the gifted program was for academically advanced students and to be nominated was an honor. If she was not interested in having her child in the program, I would be happy to take his name off the nomination.

    Duh.... that was a first. I also had a parent that I sent an email to with the first week of school newsletter and she asked to be removed from the group list. She , then, asked how I got her email address. Ummm.... you gave it to me.

    I sent an email back and AGAIN identified myself as her child's teacher like I had done in the first email, and explained that she had given me her address at the Meet the Teacher Night and that as a district were paperless. Using email was how we planned to communicate with many parents. I, then, told her that I would be happy to take her off the email if she was sure that she did not want this valuable home-school connection. She never responded. Oh well, she is still getting emails.
     
  13. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    So, I guess now you know the giftedness comes from the Dad?:D
     
  14. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    Or the milkman!:lol:
     
  15. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    I always intro myself with, "This is Mrs. Teacher from School Name. I'm Student's language arts teacher, and I'd like to speak with Parent's Name."
     
  16. Joyful!

    Joyful! Habitué

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    Are you careful to bcc all of the addresses in the group email? Some servers bounce out mass emails (for example, perhaps it is a work email with some kind of filter). In any event, you did your best. :)

    My favorite was a call I was returning where the mom specified the hours she was available. As I do not give out my #, I hid it and made the call, I started, "This is Mrs. Joyful! calling from Happy School. I'm little Precious' teacher." Her reply, "I don't usually answer blocked numbers." Mine, "I do apologize. I don't usually call from my home phone, but I am trying to meet your availability." That ended that.:cool:
     
  17. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

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    Is there any chance that you could have gotten the kid themselves at home? That happens, too. If you're calling after school and the kid gets home before the parent, these days, they don't think anything of either pretending to be the parent or just hanging up.

    Depending upon the community you're teaching in, I'm afraid it's only going to get progressively worse for you as far as home communication.

    Last year, for the first time, I saw a noticeable increase (to about 40%) of parents who responded with almost the exact, same line: "Don't call me about this again."


    :(
     
  18. Hitchcock fan

    Hitchcock fan Companion

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    Last year I was calling a parent to notify her that her daughter had won a prestigious award. When I looked up the parent's number, she was listed by her first name -- so that's who I asked for -- and naturally, she goes by her middle name! She was somewhat unfriendly and nearly hung up on me! :) I know that I should always identify myself first, but I was so excited that day that I just plunged ahead. We laugh about it now...I probably would have had the same reaction.
     
  19. SuperFudge

    SuperFudge Rookie

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    Sep 10, 2011

    I totally agree! Whenever someone calls my home asking to speak with Mrs. I immediately roll my eyes thinking it's a telemarketer. Maybe send that student a positive note or email.
     
  20. Pacificpastime

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    Even if she thought it was a telemarketer, it was still a rude way to end the phone call. Usually, if someone does not identifiy themselves first they will ask who is calling. Hopefully next time will be smoother.
     
  21. HistTchr

    HistTchr Habitué

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    A parent hung up on me last year because I called about her daughter plagiarizing a paper I had assigned. The girl turned in the same exact project as another student, so both of them got 0's. She was absolutely livid that I would not allow both sets of parents to come in to have a joint parent conference where they could review their children's papers. I explained that due to privacy laws that would not be possible, and that I would hope she trusted my professional judgment. After going in circles about this multiple times, she finally just hung up on me as I was in the middle of my sentence. What she didn't get a chance to hear me say was that the principal was kind enough to allow the students to redo the project for up to a 60 since this was their first offense. I called back (she let it go to voicemail), and left a message stating that we must have been disconnected, and that the principal was giving her daughter the opportunity to redo the paper. I never heard back from her, the daughter never bothered to make up the project, and she subsequently failed for the term because of it. By the way, I did this all in front of an administrator so I had a witness to everything that transpired.
     
  22. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Are you really sure about the privacy laws claim you made? While the school can't voluntarily give out information regarding other students if the administration mentioned that the other child's parenst would like a group discussion and the other parents have the right to decline or accept this offer, where are the privacy law violations? Possibly the school is too quick to jump on denying everything instead of actually understanding it is only violating privacy laws if you do something both parents or guardians do not agree too. The school can't force or coerse a meeting. The school can't tell who the other parents/students invlolved are until all agree to speak, but if all agree, there is no privacy violations because it is the adults deciding to waive privacy in lieu of coming up with a possible solution.
     
  23. Shanoo

    Shanoo Habitué

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    I had a parent last year who I could not get a hold of to save my life. I tried calling home. I tried calling work. I tried calling her cell phone. I tried email. I asked her daughter what the best number to use was and when the best time was. Nothing.

    Her daughter was having attendance issues and we at the school were aware that it was due to particular issues that, at times, couldn't be avoided. I taught her daughter math and the child was quite gifted in the subject. She ended up teaching herself much of the course from home. I was trying to get in touch with the mother to talk about the girl's absenteeism and the plan that I was looking to implement. I called every week. The first few times the message went "This is Mme. Shanoo. Please call me back at your earliest convenience to discuss so-and-so's progress in math." After a good 6 weeks of that, my message became "This is Mme. Shanoo. It is imperative that you call me back to discuss so-and-so's progress in Math." I called all three phones once a week and left a message on each one.

    I didn't hear anything from her until our second round of Parent-Teacher interview's in April. She came to a meeting and didn't even acknowledge the dozens of messages I had sent.
     

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