My school, like most, is proud to offer a "state of the art" technology program. Our children can take AR tests, use the PCs for math/literacy stations, webquests, and other wonderful educational games/activities. My second graders have access to every textbook and workbook online through our school's website. All of these are wonderful ways to enrich and supplement their learning experience. Like most teachers of 2012 I use technology daily as a key part of my presentations during instructional time. I update grades on our school's online grade book (which the parents can access too) and update my classroom's website weekly. What I want to talk about is email. The use of email as a communication tool between parents and teachers is convenient and easy. When I was in school, if my mother wanted to contact my teacher, she would have to find paper and pen. Then she'd have to sit down to write a letter, fold it and ask me to put it in my backpack. That took time! 2012 Parents can simply fire up their email on their iPhones while in line at the grocery store. As a school we have a 48 hour policy to return parent emails. I used to have my school email on my iPhone for convenienece. I realize now that having my school email on my phone was the same as getting a text message as I'd get an alert as soon as a parent emailed me. I would usually try to reply at that time no matter what else I was doing. This was 100% my fault but I had no idea how much it would bother me. While trying to make my work life easier, I was making myself too accessible! This was bumping into my family time way too much! So I have taken it off my phone and resign myself to only checking school email 2x a day (Before school & after school). Of course now I worry that I will be looked upon as a mediocre teacher with regard to parent communication. But, while I cherish and adore my students, my teacher hat is taken off at 4 and I quickly don my wife-and-mommy hat. My parents' generation survived without this much communication. I can too. Thanks for reading, A Happy Mom and Teacher trying to Find that Balance!