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.