Jo Abi from Mamamia finds out what one of the biggest faux pas you can commit as a parent, from the perspective of a teacher with over 36 years of experience.
With three kids of her own, Jo Abi knows exactly what the challenges of being a parent involve. Sometimes a kid arrives home from school and they seem a little blue. So, like any other parent, she would ask them if anything happened.
Occasionally they’d immediately come out with it, other times they stew on it and tearily tell her at bedtime. Yes, something did happened.
Abi’s protective instincts kick in and before she knows it, she’s banged out an angry email to the teacher, demanding answers.
The Unhappy Parent Email is becoming more common than ever. Jo Stower, a teacher of 36 years, has been on the receiving end of many of these angry emails. Her verdict? Please, don't do it.
"I have a personal rule... I will never respond to that. I'll wait 24 hours, and then call them and say 'come in and have an interview',” Stower explained.
After thinking about it, Abi realised she’s sent off an emotional and/or angry email more times than she cares to remember. Enough times to hang her head in shame.
Why didn't she just sleep on it and call the next day? Anger.
Now, Stower is offering those guilty of the Angry Parent Email a solution. Yep, it’s a far better way to handle it.
"You can type it up, but don't press send," Stower explains. "Reflect on it. Sleep on it."
Teachers always try to consider things from the parents’ perspective and can understand the emotion that goes into protecting their children. But if you push it too far, Stower warns you could be labeled as a 'chronic complainer'.
When it comes to particularly difficult parents, she advises younger teachers not to see the parents by themselves and ask for a fellow staff member to sit in.
"Just to help you because it can be unnerving when someone comes on the attack." Stower says.
It's important to keep the lines of communication open between parents and teachers, and that has to work both ways, as a partnership.
Stowers’ lingering compassion for parents and their role in raising school-age-children really struck a chord with Abi.
This year Abi is pledging to remember that she and her children’s teachers are in a partnership. She will not send any angry emails. Never ever again.
Jo Stower joins Jo Abi on The Parent Code podcast with tips on how to have the best parent-teacher relationship ever.
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