When Should Parents Contact the Principal?

The teacher calls you 2 – 3 times a week to report on your child’s behaviour. You agree that your child shouldn’t hide all of the girls’ mitts so the boys can win the race to get ready for recess however, you have done everything you can do at home and the teacher still calls. Should you go to the principal for help? Here are a few guidelines that can help you decide what to do.

  1. You want a good relationship with the teacher. They spend a lot of time with your child and even the best teachers may subconsciously treat children better or worse depending on the relationship they have with the parents. Do your best to work things out with the teacher first in a polite, calm way. Good principals will send you back to the teacher if you contact them without talking to the teacher first.
  2. Teachers have to contact you if your child has hurt themselves, another person or property or if they have been badly hurt. They have to contact you every time this happens.
  3. It is the teacher’s job to make sure children are behaving in school. Yes, parents can help however if the teacher is asking you to make sure your child behaves in class, let the teacher know what works for you at home and request that they only contact you if someone has been hurt. This is their job. You do not have to talk to a teacher 3 times a week when they are having difficulty with classroom management.
  4. If you have tried to work things out with the teacher at least 2 or 3 times and there is still a problem, it is ok to make an appointment with the principal to get help. If your child is in physical danger in the class or if the teacher believes they are helping when you feel they are hurting, it is ok to contact the principal.
  5. Insulting the teacher, yelling, repeating yourself over and over and taking all the principal’s time won’t help – it will just make it worse. Expect the principal to side with the teacher at first – it is the principal’s job to do that. Trust that they will look into it and get back to you. It may take time. You may have to go in twice. Keep at it. Principals and teachers do want the best for their students. They also need your help to do that sometimes. 

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