Sunday, January 26, 2014

Parent-teacher communication-Juliana

Have you ever made a mistake on something you have sent home? 
How do you handle it?

I work with two very special teachers in my kindergarten team. One of them is Ms. K.
Ms. K is simply amazing. She is efficient, effective, fast, always positive, and thoughtful. She is also a really hard worker and goes above and beyond for her students and activities.Last week, she received a "not so nice" note from a parent.
The parent found a typo on an assignment, specifically an extra “k” on the word “than”. The parent wrote “I find it very difficult to teach my kid when you send stuff like this
        Mrs. K., who like most of us, works 10-12 hours per day, does not have an assistant to proofread all of the papers that are sent home, and that creates her own activities, was very disappointed when she read the note. She was also upset for making a mistake, since she tries really hard not to be careless. Her approach to the situation was remarkable, and something I would not have thought of as my first option. She addressed the situation by calling the parent right away. As she talked to the parent:
1.     Her tone of voice was really calm and relaxed.
2.    She greeted the parent nicely and said “I am calling you because I received your note”
3.    She thanked the parent for correcting her error.
4.    She let her know that when she makes a mistake in class she uses it as a teachable moment.
5.    At the end of the conversation, she told her that this was not going to be the last time she makes any mistakes.

What was the parent reaction?She said her daughter and her family appreciate everything that she does for her child. She said she was tired when she wrote the note because it was really late and they were doing homework.

When we make mistakes in class, we have to show our kids that we all make them. Let’s not go to the extreme of being careless or extremely anxious for making them, let’s learn from our mistakes and turn them into a teachable moment. Let's all learn that it is okay! Maybe that way, when our students become parents, they will approach the same situation differently.


  1. Great advice. My teacher always says that when a hurtful note is written to the teacher, it rarely has anything to do with the teacher and everything to with something going on at home. She encourages us to not react negatively but to reach out instead. It almost always works and they usually apologize. I love how your friend handled this with such grace.

  2. Great advice! These nasty notes usually mean the parents had a long day as well. Sometimes when you are tired and fed up you can get quite nasty. Still not fun to get as a teacher. I will never forget the first nasty note I got.

    The Math Maniac