Is there any way to guarantee parents get information?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Backroads, Oct 27, 2020.

  1. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Oct 27, 2020

    Story behind the question:

    I teach virtual. Completely virtual school. I had a whole bunch of students, so the school hired another teacher and we split the class. The primary tool of communication is with families is an in-house email system. I sent emails announcing the upcoming split. I sent emails introducing the new teacher. I sent emails explaining who was in which class now. The new teacher sent emails introducing herself. The new teacher sent emails verifying who was in her class. Both of us sent weekly communication. Now, to phone calls. Families have our phone numbers (not personal, just our office GotoConnect/Google Voice numbers). These numbers are given out. Calls happen. We also have synchronous online lessons that both of us invite students to via their online systems.

    Well, a parent sent me via text some material they weren't able to send online. Assuming she just didn't have the new teacher's number (which she ought to) or just thought our grade in general was working together, I thanked her for the materials and said I would pass them on to her teacher.

    Then, I receive a text from her. She has questions about some material that, unfortunately what with the student no longer being in my class, I don't have access to, so I suggest she try her teacher directly--I even provide the phone number.

    Well, now she's mad at everyone because no one ever communicates with her and how was she supposed to know the teachers have been changed.

    Sigh.

    So, is there anyway to guarantee a parent gets communication?
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2020
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  3. mathteachertobe

    mathteachertobe Cohort

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    Oct 27, 2020

    I guess if it was an urgent message, I would start with email and ask for a reply acknowledging they received the information. Then for families that did not reply, you could phone/text since you have shared those numbers anyway. I would never give out my phone number, so I would call with my number blocked. Mostly those calls are not picked up, so then I ask the student's counselor to try and get the message to the family.

    But none of those steps guarantee the message gets through.
     
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  4. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Groupie

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    Oct 27, 2020

    There are a lot of adults who do not read very well. Email is a quick and easy way to send a message to a person who understands what they read and to document. Unfortunately, a lot of parents skim or really don't comprehend. I noticed it with online learning. I made a lot of phone calls to those parents last year. I know it is time consuming. That was the only way I could be sure certain parents got/ understood messages. Good luck! I had a few who could/ would read a text, but never an email.
     
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  5. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Oct 27, 2020

    Guarantee? No.

    You could have some people standing in front of you looking you dead in the eye while you explain it, have them verify what you said, and still have them say they didn’t know.
     
  6. viola_x_wittrockiana

    viola_x_wittrockiana Comrade

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    Oct 27, 2020

    Yup. Had one this spring who claimed not to have the class code when it had been: 1. Picked up with the paper quarantine packet, 2. Posted on the grade-level class dojo, 3. Emailed to the child's school email on 5 separate occasions, 4. Direct messaged to the parent on dojo, 5. Sent to the child's SPED teacher twice, after claiming they didn't have it, 6. Emailed to the parent email. "You got all those emails?" "Yeah" "But not the class code?" "We couldn't find it."

    Having/being given information and grasping information are two different things.

    After the mess we had making contact with everyone's adults, we sent out a survey with preferred contact method, which smoothed things out quite a bit. We had a few who only do texting or only check dojo because of work constraints or tech access limitations.
     
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  7. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    This is an online school. What do the parents expect you to do? Go to their house to give them information??? It sounds like pure laziness, especially since they were probably told 20000 times how they could communicate with the teachers and how the teachers would be communicating with them. I don't buy the whole "not understanding" baloney. THIS IS AN ONLINE SCHOOL. You need to read emails from your child's teachers. Not ignore them, which is probably what they did. Can you send emails with read receipts so you know who read them and who didn't? If they don't read them in a timely manner you could follow up with a phone call but at least you can prove it was read. Good grief! Send your child to a regular school if you want a hand out in their backpack that you can stick on your fridge because you can't remember what you read in an email or can't be bothered to read emails.
     
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  8. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    This is what our principal, assistant principal, and some teachers are doing. They’re rolling up at houses and knocking on doors.

    Not answering emails? Not answering the phone? Not responding to texts or voicemails? Your child not turning in work for like ten weeks now? Internet too slow to allow child to do work? Here’s a paper packet, a letter with all our contact information, and a schedule of when your child can receive help.
     
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  9. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I simultaneously admire this and feel exhausted for them
     
  10. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Schools were doing too much for parents when things were "normal". Now it's just expected.
     
  11. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Did anyone see that post going around Facebook about the parent who contacted a teacher and said she was "disgusted" with the school saying they aren't teaching her child anything and she's failing. She complained nobody contacted her and it wasn't her job to stay on top of things. The teacher responded that she had attempted to contact her MANY times and even sent a message on Dojo but the woman's husband's email was on Dojo and she didn't think it was appropriate for a teacher to contact her husband. <eyeroll> It was all just ridiculous. The teacher was patient in her replies but I would have stopped replying after the first disgusting message.
     
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  12. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Oct 29, 2020

    I read that. Some parents blow my mind.
     
  13. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    The mom was more concerned with other women talking to HER MAN that she didn't seem to care about her own child's education.
    They also said that the parent apologized but at that point I'd be so over it.
     
  14. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Yeah. She has issues....bless her.
     

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