0

I have a question for all parents and teachers.

I am a divorced dad and my sons are living with their mother. My problem is that I am not kept up to date on my sons' behavior at school. I do receive a newsletter every week about the school's general information and events. (If the teacher remembers to include 2 newsletters). But additional information such as trips, extra classes etc. I always get after the cut off date. The communication between myself and the mom is not perfect due to various personal reasons. However, I feel that this is not the problem area. I am a very involved dad and would like to become more involved.

So my question is basically, how does your school communicate to parents and or vice versa.

What have you found to be the best form of communication between the two parties?

  • Welcome to Parenting.SE. I'm working on an answer, but also wanted to mention: Regardless of how you get messages, you may need to get your ex-spouse involved to set communication up. Often contact information forms are sent home with a child, therefore filled out by the parent they live with. If the teacher has never met or heard of you before, an unexpected request for classroom information from some stranger may seem pretty weird. Keep the conversation positive (you want to help, you think this will benefit your sons) and hopefully it will be an easy sell. – Acire Nov 18 '15 at 14:50
  • Thanks Erica. Im contacting the teachers weekly when i collect them from school. I just thought there might be an easier and quicker way. Thanks for your reaponce – Sebastiaan Burger Nov 18 '15 at 14:55
3

Much of this depends on the teacher. Sometimes they have a policy of how they send out information and won't want to change it. However, many of the one's I've interacted with over the years are also strongly in favor of keeping all parents and guardians informed about progress, behavior, activities, and so on.

The simplest solution is electronic communication. An email with information about general class information (field trips, classroom activities, reminders about days off or project due dates) is easy to send to any number of recipients. Our kids' teachers have increasingly come to prefer email instead of paper forms (which are easily lost or damaged in backpacks anyway), although we still get physical copies of permission slips and report cards.

We had one teacher who published her general class newsletter on a (secured) blog. This was great for general information ("Now in math we've started learning multiplication!") but not necessarily urgent updates ("Due to an unavoidable schedule change, tomorrow's class assembly is cancelled").

Both my spouse and I receive those class emails. Even though we can communicate regularly, it's so much easier to just say "did you see Mrs Smith's email" instead of first remembering, then reiterating that email. In cases where co-parent communication is limited, having both parents informed separately and simultaneously is even more beneficial.

Email is even better in student-specific situation. (I've gotten three since Monday about an ongoing behavior/homework issue, an overdue school library book, and asking for a working set of headphones.) In a co-parenting situation, you can then CC both your ex-spouse and the teacher (for example, "I will buy headphones for Son by Thursday" or "I found that book under my couch") so everyone's up to date.

1

In a past life, I was chairman of my children's school's School Site Council. The way we communicated with parents was through the children in the form of handouts and occasionally mailers to the registered address. We never really considered the living arrangements of the individual children; some lived with their grandparents, others with foster-parents, etc.

All of that is to say:

The best way to become informed is to become involved, deeply involved. Become a fixture at that school. Develop relationships with the faculty. Volunteer to do anything that needs to be done, and you will suddenly find yourself in the know. It takes a lot of energy, but in the end its really worth it, and everyone benefits, especially your child.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.