You are here

Teacher Communications

SMof2Girls's picture

DH missed the Back to School Night this week because he had to work. The only real information to gather was the classroom and curriculum information, which includes some recommended reading and to schedule the Parent Teacher Conference times for November. Nothing substantial.

DH emailed the teachers this morning asking for the available conference times and any info he missed. SD7's teacher replied saying he's sending home two copies of the packet of info - one for each parent (apparently BM missed it too).

DH emailed BM saying the teacher told him he'd be sending home the info so to please bring it to the drop off either tonight or Sunday evening.

She replied with a long rant about how she is NOT his middle man and it's inappropriate to make demands like that of her. Told him to call the teacher back and tell him to mail or email copies directly because she is not comfortable with this excessive and unnecessary contact.

So, he forwarded the email to the teacher, cc'd her, and politely requested that the teacher email or mail the documents in question.

I thought it was unnecessary, but DH's point is that if her requests and communications are reasonable, she should have no problem with the teacher seeing it.

myspoonistoobig's picture

Well, in the interest of the teacher being on the level with the SD's homelife and the challenges therein, it's actually pretty polite to give her an explanation for her needing to e-mail, mail or otherwise diseminate documents to two different locations for one kid.

SMof2Girls's picture

Oh, DH did tell him that he'd need his own copies of anything sent home at the Open House back in August before school started. The teacher was very accommodating and understanding. I don't think he realized that sending two copies wasn't enough .. that it had to be provided directly to DH .. and I'm not sure DH clarified that.

This is actually the first time BM has ever refused to give him the second copy .. normally she just refuses to make copies for him.

theoutsider's picture

Wow, I wish my boyfriend could do something like that...

One of the kids teachers made a small "ordeal" about having separate parent/teacher conferences. Saying it was "unfortunate that the child's parents couldn't look past their differences for the child" There HAS NEVER been an issue with school (new teacher). My boyfriend chose not to say anything back to the teacher in person. But is planning on writing an email explain that "separate conferences, although not ideal, would ensure focus of the conference was on the child and not on the parent's differences"

SMof2Girls's picture

I'm not sure if it's the area or the school or what. When they completed the registration paperwork there was a question on there that asked if there were any custody issues or disputes, and if so, to please provide a copy of the custody documentation to the main office.

I'm guessing they've had their fair share of crazy parents ..

Drac0's picture

>Saying it was "unfortunate that the child's parents couldn't look past their differences for the child"<

Sadly, judges think like this too Sad

SMof2Girls's picture

That may be true, but I think it's highly inappropriate for a teacher to make comments like that.

Drac0's picture

If it's obvious that the parents are bickering so much and throwing the child under the bus, what can the teacher say?

SMof2Girls's picture

I don't think that was the case though .. I was under the impression the parents asked for separate conferences (to avoid the bickering, etc) and that's what spurred the comment from the teacher.

theoutsider's picture

The parents have not had joint conferences in 3 years. Currently BM is wanting to change the parenting order and had stopped negotiating so my boyfriend is taking her to court. She just got notification that they are going to court. So my boyfriend was really giving the "new to the school system" teacher a heads up of the children's personal story. Other teachers and staff at the school all know whats up and the divorce history. It's a small school (less than 300 kids K-12). It's obvious the teacher still doesn't "get it" that this isn't the dad being an ass to the mom, it's just high conflict in general.

Willow2010's picture

Saying it was "unfortunate that the child's parents couldn't look past their differences for the child
My DD has only been teaching a year and she knows better to say something like this. WOW! She would probably lose her job.

Edit to add...make sure you DH copies in the principal!

theoutsider's picture

Yeah, unfortunately the teacher said this verbally to my boyfriend, no witnesses. That's why he didn't say anything back to her right then, he was kind of stunned.

SMof2Girls's picture

Man .. it's gonna be a long school year if your teacher has an attitude like that ..

I understand where she's coming from and I can imagine dealing with bickering parents rubs her the wrong way for a lot of reasons. But it's not productive for anyone if she's making the parents uncomfortable either.

Drac0's picture

I don't blame your BF. I would be stunned too. Last year, SS's teacher was making a lot of hints (and when I say a lot of hints, I mean the floodgates-have-opened-and-you-are-facing-a-deluge of hints) on what he believed constituded as proper "punishment" for poor grades and disruptive behavior in class. He never straight out said, "You should punish SS with XYZ" but that is what he was getting at.

Unfortunately, these suggestions flew over DW's head like a U2 bomber. DW was so focused on explaining why SS doesn't perform well because when he is at his Dad's he doesn't do his homework Sad

SMof2Girls's picture

Yeah, I don't disagree with you at all. At the open house, DH told the teacher he'd need his own copies of all the information. I don't think the teacher realized he meant he'd need them sent to him directly, and I doubt DH clarified the point.

The truth is, in the past, BM has never refused to pass on duplicate copies to DH. She refuses to make copies or send him her copies. So it did surprise DH a little when she refused to pass on the second copy that the teacher already made.

I don't think he should've forwarded her email either; but at least the teacher has an idea of what we're dealing with now.

SMof2Girls's picture

I totally agree. I can't imagine how frustrating it has to be for the teachers in these situations. Regardless of whether parents are asshats or not, teachers are expected to accommodate them and their needs. DH is very appreciative of the extra work they do to make it easier for him to stay involved.

We actually talked about the uniform thing .. if the court date had actually come to fruition, we took bets that BM would show up in full military dress (even though she wears scrubs to work). DH was planning on going in his dress blues too Wink

SMof2Girls's picture

He has no intention of sharing any kind of details regarding their custody battle and disagreements. It's not really the teacher's business. The skids do well in school so unless there is some issue that comes up, I'm not sure why the teacher needs to know anything other than the parents are divorced.

He's not out to make her look bad .. but when he's put in a situation to ask the teacher to do more work, I think he just wanted to make sure the teacher knew it wasn't him just trying to be difficult. No matter what, he would've been in a situation to tell the teacher, directly or indirectly, "I know you sent home 2 copies and I appreciate it, but BM won't give me one so I'll need you to send them directly to me". This way it's just in BM's words. I personally wouldn't have handled it this way, but it is what it is at this point.

SMof2Girls's picture

I definitely understand the level of frustration teachers must experience in these situations. However, I don't think it's necessarily unreasonable for a parent to ask .. if you're in a high conflict situation, then by definition the parents CAN'T shut up and focus on the kids, ya know? Not that it becomes the teacher's problem or responsibility, but the request is legit.

We're lucky in that the skids' school closes for the day of conferences. The teachers have the whole day to schedule them so they're not limited to cramming everyone in just a few hours after normal work hours.

DH wouldn't have an issue with a joint conference. The issues come from BM. When SD7 was in kindergarten she rescheduled the joint conference 3 different times because the teacher kept sending the updated time to DH and BM was trying to go without him. Dh eventually just called the teacher, apologized for all the drama, and asked for a separate meeting. They ended up doing the conference right then over the phone .. she was in Kindergarten .. it's not exactly an enormous info dump ..

SMof2Girls's picture

All of the school info is on their website; so there's very little DH can't get from there. The classroom specific stuff is a little less consistent.

It would seem to me that emails would just be a whole lot easier for everyone. I suppose there may be people without regular access to a computer and email though.

MamaDuck's picture

Excessive and unnecessary contact... Putting school info etc into the SKs bag for dad to fish out when he gets them.. is excessive and unnecessary contact.. LMAO. What petty and pathetic nonsense!