Parent Primer

It’s been six hours since your child came home from school and told you she had a bad day. It’s been two hours since you started crafting an email to her school. In another twelve hours, you’ll expect a response and an action plan. 

Before clicking send, here’s a handy primer for emailing your child’s school. 

Don’t click send when this email:

  • Is a projection of your own school experience in such a way that you’re writing it for yourself, not your child 
  • Is written hours (or minutes) after hearing about your child’s day
  • Is in response to something you saw on Facebook or heard at the soccer field
  • Is requesting a full investigation without being aware of your school’s code of conduct or your state’s HIB law
  • Includes phrases like, “I’m not the only one” or “all the other parents” 
  • Is requesting that the school help you parent your child 

Go ahead and click send when this email:

  • Seeks to understand on the way to responding
  • Has had time to marinate, much like the situation about which you’re writing
  • Is based on a series of experiences your child has had, particularly if they all include the same people or themes
  • Provides context for how your child is feeling about or responding to her school experience
  • Alerts the school of changes in your child’s life that may affect how he presents in school
  • Is just a note of kindness and gratitude for your child’s teacher

Look, man, parenting is super hard. I’m talking existential crisis inducing-small victory seeking-perpetually self reflecting-ugly crying hard. 

But so is teaching. 

The difference is we don’t open up our email to read about our parenting. 

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