A script for how to call a parent during school closure
I’m dreading it and I bet you are too. We have to call the parents of the students who have not been completing their digital assignments while school is closed. It’s always helpful to have a script for how to call a parent before you dial the number.
I hesitate to make these phone calls for three main reasons:
One, I hate calling parents in the first place–I’m not the best phone talker.
I despise having to call a parent to report something negative. It’s not so bad to report something positive, but I still get nervous calling parents no matter what.
Two, I’m cautious about calling in this time of tumult. I know many of my students are not completing their work because they are just being lazy, but there are also students who are facing crises at home (financial, medical, etc).
I want to approach conversations with respect for my students and their families and I know the last thing some of them need to hear right now is: “don’t forget to do your schoolwork,” but that’s not an excuse not to reach out to them.
Three, you never know what you’re going to get
Some parents are extremely supportive and appreciate the phone call. Others….not so much. I also hate having to call a land line having no idea who will pick up.
But still…we must do it. We must pick up the phone and dial.
I’ve reached out to each and every one of my students digitally and most have responded. It’s those I haven’t heard back from that concern me. Those are the calls I’m making.
Will this script work in all situations? No, of course not, but it gives you a starting point. And if nothing else, it might help to know that a teacher who has been at it for 14 years still gets nervous when dialing a parent’s number.
Here’s my script:
Hi, may I speak with Mr./Ms._______ (parent’s last name)? This is ______(your full name). I’m _____’s(student’s first name) _______ (subject: math, English, etc.) teacher from ____ (your school’s name).
I haven’t heard anything from _______ since school let out and I wanted to make sure s/he is ok and to ask for your help in reminding him/her about the work that is posted on our digital platform. I want to make sure s/he keeps up with his/her assignments so that s/he gets credit for the class. I’m very flexible with giving extensions due to our current situation, but I need _____ (student’s name) to communicate with me about what s/he needs as far as help or extra time so we can worth through it together.
I really appreciate you talking with me. I wish you and your family the best. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if _____ (student’s name) has any questions.
I got voicemail with my first call which made me realize I need a slightly altered script for voice messages. This is what I’m using:
Hi this is _____ (your full name). I’m _____’s (student’s first name) ______(subject: i.e. math, English) teacher from ____ (school name). I haven’t heard anything from _______ (student’s first name) since school let out and I wanted to make sure s/he is ok? I also wanted to make sure s/he knows how to access the digital learning platform so s/he can keep up with his/her assignments during the school closure. Please have _____(student’s name) contact me by __________ (how you want to be contacted) and I will make sure s/he has everything s/he needs to keep up and ensure s/he receives credit for the class.
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