Yesterday was the day letters were mailed from the school my children attend regarding the upcoming year. The information contained what teacher they would have. Class lists are going to be posted at the school tomorrow. One would think that children would find out who their classmates are on Friday - no, no, no!

Good ol' technology!

Within minutes of someone getting their snail mail, emails (and I'm sure phone calls) were starting to fly from parent to parent wondering who was in what class. Why pick up the phone and make a call to one person when you can send an email out to twenty? Gotta love email, right? We were on the list and started to see what friends were in what classes for both of our children. While we generally didn't care (okay, maybe a little) about who our children had for teachers, there were other parents not feeling the same way. In some of the email responses, parents would say who their child's teacher was and then write something like (Yeh! or Thankfully! or Whew!) for everyone else to see. I know parents have reasons for wanting their children with a certain teacher, but don't you think that should be kept a little more private? I simply replied to the emails with who my children have because I was asked. I didn't go into the "I'm really happy" or "I'm glad they aren't with so & so" because it was pointless. We have a pretty good idea of who is in our daughter's class from the emails and the one phone call from one of her friends asking who she had. She'll see the list tomorrow and find out the rest. In the meantime, I guess we'll have to see if more emails fly around today with more news about classes.

Here are my questions:

Do you think this type of communication about classes and teachers among parents is good?

Do you think what I posted above occurs at schools everywhere? To what degree?

Do you think the teachers know about it? Do they care?

Do the kids care as much as the parents?

How are parents informed about class lists/teacher names at your school?


What do you think? Please share.

9 comments

  1. Lisa Parisi // August 14, 2008 at 9:23 AM  

    Yes, this happens everywhere. It is common to want to know who the teacher is and who is in the class. But all of us have experienced our children having a teacher with a specific reputation (good or bad) and finding that our child's experience does not follow the norm. So I personally ignore the comments others make about teachers and I truly wish it wouldn't be quite so public.

  2. stacykasse // August 14, 2008 at 9:24 AM  

    We have pass up day the last day of school. This gives parents the entire summer to "talk" about who they have. Principal takes requests so if you request a teacher you get him/her. Do I agree...not sure. I am one of the teachers who is "talked about" (I have high standards) It used to bother me..it bothers my principal more, I think...but not anymore.
    Can't comment as a parent.
    Good questions, though.

  3. Jennifer // August 14, 2008 at 9:31 AM  

    Hey Chad --

    Our school (and my former schools) posts the lists (on the doors of the office) on Friday at 3:59 before a long weekend and then they run!! (honest, not a lie!!)

    They would NEVER think to use email as the posting option.

    I know when I was a teacher, it always pleased me to know that I was a "wanted" teacher but it didn't change anything.

    My administration (in the past) handled parents complaints of teacher choice by emphasizing that ANY teacher they had teaching at our school was not only qualified but the best person for that position/grade. If a parent complained too much -- the parent was given suggestions of other private schools in the area that they might wish to check out.

    I think that the students care more about "their friends" in the class than the teacher. However, if the teacher has been there a while, they have heard rumors -- so sometimes there might be some trepidation....some uneasiness....or some supreme joy. However, again, I think students (esp elementary) care more about the kids in their class.

    Finally, I think any communication between parents and teachers is good. However, if a parent is unhappy with an administration decisions (such as class lists)....that conversation needs to go to admin and not the teacher.

    I look forward to reading more responses.

    Jen

  4. crmarty // August 14, 2008 at 9:40 AM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  5. crmarty // August 14, 2008 at 9:43 AM  

    I had a similiar experience at my son's soccer game last night. We attend a small parochial school so we only have one teacher and we know the kids in the class. As a parent in this situation, we've learned to appreciate the kids' strengths and work with each other when there are differences. It is a true community feel.

    Some of the kids on the team attend another school and the sideline was flying with so and so is in this room and have you heard about her...

    I guess this is the norm. I just smiled and thought they don't even realize what goes into making class lists. The teachers have also heard rumors about the kids in the class and they might be worried too :) Ahhh, another year is upon!

    I just hope everyone-parents, students, and teachers will have a great year teaching and learning together~A community of learners!

    August 14, 2008 9:40 AM

  6. WI DEN LC // August 14, 2008 at 10:26 AM  

    Hi Chad,
    I asked this on Plurk last week and someone brought up the point about the fact that kids first, last and teacher names on the door of the school put it out there for the world to see. I wonder if that is going to be a problem. Is that OK or is that a privacy violation? Hmmm.
    My kids school posts the lists on the door and then the kids all flock there are look. The same comments are orally stated then right at the school door. Some kids were in tears this year regarding friends in another class. (A bit dramatic if you ask me.)
    My school waits until back to school night and kids find their classroom by the list outside each door. Not sure if that is better.
    Rachel

  7. Sue Waters // August 14, 2008 at 6:29 PM  

    The schools my kids go to in Western Australia put the list on a wall late in the afternoon on the last working day prior to the first day of school.

    Unfortunately student numbers and class numbers are determined by the number of students that attend. So occasionally they have to make major changes to classes once the classes have started. For example they had to move around several classes at the beginning of the year which meant the students changed teachers at the end of the first week. Some parents didn't cope with this well.

  8. eiela // August 14, 2008 at 8:33 PM  

    All my teacher friends seem to realize that the parents talk about us, at least as much as we talk about their kids. I think it's good, up to a point--it shows that you're concerned about your kids, which is better than not giving a darn. Heck, I even got a couple of calls this year from friends whose kids are starting K at my school, asking which teacher I thought would be the best fit for their little ones. (Thankfully, I could honestly say all our K teachers are good--although I did recommend a particular one for one of the parents, because of special needs her child has).
    But I really think the parents get WAY more worked up about class assignments than the kids do. Our K classes got shuffled at the end of the 2nd week because of class sizes, and there's been way more parent angst about that than kid angst. Although I don't blame them for being worried about a brand-new teacher, an unknown quantity, being their child's first experience with school. I know I was not as good my first year of teaching as I hope I am now--my classroom management was not so great, and it wasn't till my second year that I felt like I was doing more than herding cats!
    We do the post-the-list-on -the-door thing too. Except K finds out at the beginning of the summer, if they register early.

  9. IMC Guy // August 19, 2008 at 5:18 PM  

    Wow, thanks for the comments. It seems like this is a pretty common at schools all over the place. However, what's different is how schools publish class lists. I'm not sure there is a best way for that.

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