Your child’s teacher and Legacy staff are here for you and want your child to succeed.
Email availability: Classroom teachers indicate email, text, or phone availability at the beginning of the course. While teachers want to assist you as quickly as possible, you most likely will not receive an instantaneous response. Teachers are encouraged to spend time with their families after school hours and on weekends, and parents are asked to respect this time. Please refer to the information about availability provided by your teacher and plan accordingly!
Much of the communication between parents and teachers is via email. Emails should be limited to simple questions such as assignment clarification or help with a math problem. Do not use email to communicate frustrations to teachers or staff; rather, request a conference. Multiple emails to a teacher on a daily basis are an indication of the need for a phone or in-person conference. To preserve the Christian environment of the school, emails that are considered disrespectful will be forwarded to an administrator.
- Be respectful. Teachers and staff consider Legacy their ministry. Many are also parents at the school who are co-teaching on home days. If a misunderstanding or frustration arises, all families and staff are asked to give the benefit of the doubt and approach the person directly, in private.
- Be specific. Vague statements like “I don’t understand” do not allow your teacher to help you effectively.
- Be concise. Think about how you can write what you want to say in just a few sentences or a short paragraph. Use bulleted or numbered lists to communicate your ideas more concisely when appropriate. Always include a line break between paragraphs. With email, writing more sometimes increases the likelihood of misunderstanding – schedule a phone or in-person conference if you have more to say.
- Use exclamation points sparingly. For example, “I need for you to check my child’s grade please!!!!!!!” does not necessarily come across in the way you intended.
- Avoid using ALL CAPITAL LETTERS. This is a big no-no.
- Don’t send an e-mail when you’re upset. Once you send an e-mail, you can’t take it back. Wait until you have calmed down before sending e-mails to make sure you don’t say something you’ll regret.
Open communication is important in a UMS school. While you may prefer email, face-to-face communication also is part of the school-parent partnership. Sometimes, an email or text message is not as effective as a conference and may even be counterproductive. For example, you should schedule a conference when:
- you have observations to share from your child’s progress at home,
- you need advice or encouragement,
- your child is struggling with class work or the off-campus workload,
- you’re concerned about conflict between your child and another student.
Many new parents come from school environments where you are a “problem parent” if you schedule a conference. Don’t put off a meeting because you might “bother” or “upset the teacher.” Your teachers are professionals and want to work with you—and they’re a wealth of information! Early communication tempered with kindness can foster a strong partnership. At the same time, remember that there are policies and procedures in place at Legacy for a reason. While a meeting doesn’t guarantee change, it can help with mutual understanding.
You also may contact an administrator when you have a need. If you aren’t sure how to approach a teacher, need help with your home days, or you feel overwhelmed—we want to help.
Administrators oversee umbrella issues that concern policies or departments. When the administrator is contacted before the teacher, this can prevent a mutually beneficial solution. It’s always best to contact the teacher first, but when in doubt, an administrator can help you decide the best way to contact your teacher if you are unsure of what to do or say.