Every teacher will receive at least one (if not more) emailed from disgruntled parents. Regardless of who’s at fault, it can be a nerve-wracking experience and have lasting negative effects if not handled properly. How can we address the email in a diplomatic way without having to compromise our class policies and dignity? I provide 10 steps on how to handle the email so that the situation doesn’t escalate to the point where the parent becomes angrier and you set off red flags with your administration.
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Steps for handling an angry parent email:
1) Investigate the issue the parent is upset about.
2) Take a moment to understand the parent’s perspective.
3) Have another colleague take a look at it.
4) If you feel compelled to, draft your angry reply in a different medium
5) Give your principal a heads up.
6) No matter what, you’ll need to respond, but stay cool.
7) After crafting that email, save it as a draft and come back to it when you’re not upset.
8) Don’t blame or lecture the student the next day.
9) Find a way to prevent this issue from popping up again.
10) If you’re delivering unhappy news, have another colleague take a look at it.
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