Do you meet with a lot of parents before school starts?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by DrivingPigeon, Aug 19, 2014.

  1. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Aug 19, 2014

    I've had 6 parents email me to meet before school begins to discuss various concerns, or just to meet me before Open House. I've never had this many requests! It's usually maybe one child, if that. The tough part is that teachers report back next Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday (am only), and our days our filled with meetings. So, I'm meeting with 4 families this Friday, which is technically my vacation time still. I normally wouldn't be going in to work that day.

    Is this normal? Do you usually have requests for meetings before you actually return to work?
     
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  3. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    No, that does not seem normal. I have never had meetings with parents before school starts. In fact, our school posts the class last the Thursday before school starts, so the parents have little time before school starts that they actually know who their child will be with. Today is our first day and I do have a mom who wants to meet with me soon because they are moving to Chicago in January, but I told her to wait until next week. It´s just too crazy right now with the start of school.
     
  4. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    I would say no. What concerns can't wait until their kid actually starts school?? I would answer their questions by email or phone but I think that they are starting off the year pretty pushy.
     
  5. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    I met with the parents of my blind student last year. Barring something medically, or a severe disability, I'd probably politely refuse any requests to meet before school starts.
     
  6. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    We don't even have our rosters done and the kids start back on Monday-so parents don't know ahead of time who the teacher will be.
     
  7. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    I think it may just be a "needy" year. I was talking to another 2nd grade teacher, and she's has quite a few emails from parents, as well. One parent emailed her with questions about her classroom website, which she hasn't updated in about 4 years. :lol:
     
  8. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Our students won't find out which class they are in until they arrive on the first day. Teachers have tentative class lists, but we have been asked (rather firmly) not to contact any parents or students in case of any changes.
     
  9. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I don't think I would give up precious vacation time to meet with parents. I have always had a form to sign at open house for parents who would like to schedule a conference. My theory has always been that parents need to respect that I have a life outside of school (just as they have a life outside of their job!)
     
  10. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    I have met with a parent who could not make our back-to-school/meet the teacher night. I met them during a PD day- I stepped out for a minute.
    Other than that, I would not accommodate them on my summer time. Maybe for one parent if they had a legitimate concern, but multiple? No way.
     
  11. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Well, I'm glad I'm not the only one that thinks our vacation time is precious! I felt like I wasn't being accommodating. Almost all of them asked to meet with me this week since I "Am probably working in my classroom." I'm not, though...I'm enjoying my last week of vacation!
     
  12. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    If you were working in your classroom, you don't need them interrupting you! :hugs:
     
  13. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    So true! Instead of wearing grubby clothes on Friday, I have to look presentable, and do my hair and makeup. Booooo!
     
  14. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Guess what? I just received ANOTHER email from a parent. I believe that is a total of 5 today. This parent wants to meet this Friday, next Monday, or next Friday. Those are all of my days off. My last days of break. :(
     
  15. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Connoisseur

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    We had meet the teacher tonight. We had strict instructions to have a quick meet and greet, but I can't tell a parent no I can't talk to you. They were very nice and waited until after everyone else was gone and I'm really glad I did. I needed to know some things before Monday.
     
  16. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    That's the tough thing...I know that the information they have for me is valuable to know so that I can understand their child. As a teacher I feel that it is my job to do so.
     
  17. MzMooreTeaches

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    Tricky situation! Is it possible for you to say "I'm out of town on those days on vacation. I would love to meet with you on X day when you I'm at school.. and is there a concern that you would like to share right now, I can chat with you for a few before I head back to the beach? lol But seriously. I'm on the fence with this one simply because I like to accommodate my parents... but 5 parents are making a request is a bit extreme... 1 or 2 I would be cool with.
     
  18. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    5?! Yikes!

    I wouldn't do it unless it was a medical issue or a disability, like gr3 mentioned. There have to be boundaries, and your time should be YOUR time.
     
  19. chitown

    chitown Companion

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    This is pretty much what I was thinking. If you've got "needy" parents this year, it may be best to set those boundaries earlier rather than later.
     
  20. HorseLover

    HorseLover Comrade

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    Unfortunately word may have got around and this could put you some hot water if a parent says "she met with so and so and then told me she was out of town" :eek::lol: Maybe you could tell them that your schedule is full right now, but you would be happy to schedule a meeting during the first week or two of school. If there is anything that can't wait please send an email.
     
  21. geoteacher

    geoteacher Habitué

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    I could not accommodate five parent before school begins on the 2nd. Our administrative days are long and busy. Generally speaking, the only parents my team meets with before school begins are those with serious medical or documented behavioral issues. The rest can be scheduled within the first couple of weeks.
     
  22. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    This is probably your best option.
     
  23. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I WOULD NOT be meeting with parents before school even starts...it's my vacation, I'm not available.
     
  24. TeacherNY

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    The problem is if you agree to meet one then you'll have to meet with all of them. Word will get around that you will just agree to anything and I suspect you will receive many similar unreasonable requests in the future. I wouldn't make up a story about being away. You are within your rights to say that you are unavailable until school begins.
     
  25. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    At this point with so many requests (5?... The word is out that you're available :(), you've kind of made your bed....or you could contact the ones who requested and tell them that 'something suddenly came up' (I love Marsha Brady!) and that you'll have to cancel but will be glad to meet them after school begins. Tell them if they have any immediate questions that you can address those via email.
     
  26. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    I think I have the opposite opinion. I would rather start the school year off with as much information as possible and on a positive note with the parents. Perhaps you could offer to call them or ask if it could be discussed with email?

    I met with a parent yesterday, on a topic that turned out to be very sensitive so I am glad I met with her. I don't officially go back until after Labor Day.
     
  27. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    I see no problem with that kind of request. You'll still be getting information without physically having to be at school. These are the same parents that will asking to meet during Christmas vacation and spring break. :dizzy:
     
  28. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    You're in too deep to back out now. If you get any more requests, simply tell them your schedule is full. One summer I met with parents while setting up my classroom (it was my second year) and it was a slippery slope. Those parents stayed super involved - one even got a hold of my home phone number. Be prepared to be very firm on when you can meet during the year.
     

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