Dealing With Problems Early On
Parents should be contacted at the first sign of a problem. The best way to reach parents is to send a note or copy of an infraction notice home on Thursdays for those students who are having problems. Many parents will take action on their own to ensure that problems do not continue. Many students will complain to the rest of the class about this action. It will not take long for the message to get around. Be sure that you use a plain envelope for this purpose. Students are smart, and many of them arrive at home before their parents do. If you have problems reaching parents at home, contact them at their office or job site.
Calls should be made to the parent(s) if problems continue. Again, if you cannot get them at home, call their job site. If one parent is not cooperative, call the other. Still no action? Call the emergency number for the student. Many times you will get the grandmother. She may be the real authority in the family, anyway.
If no help is offered or you cannot reach the parent, send a registered letter or mail-gram. This will be necessary only in a few cases and will cost about $2.00. This is good documentation showing your efforts to try to reach the parents. When you have exhausted all means of reaching the parent(s), it is time to request help from the administration. Use this avenue wisely.
Remember, those teachers who turn to the office for every little thing will probably see it reflected negatively in their evaluations.