Jump to content

WA teachers allowed to ignore abusive parents


  • Please log in to reply
139 replies to this topic

#1 Delirium

Posted 24 August 2019 - 09:57 PM

About time.  WA Education Minister has said that teachers are now allowed to ignore abusive emails from parents and ignore communication outside of school hours.  See the media statement here.

I teach in a high-SEA and I have a lot of entitled parents sending emails with a very aggressive tone.  Which is pretty common, unfortunately.  I spend so much of my time that I could otherwise spend marking or preparing for lessons (or actually having personal time outside of work!) in responding to demanding parents.  I have to spend a lot of time formulating a response that won't incur more abuse and waste more time, but I also spend a lot of time distressed and anxious at the way that I am treated.

And it's not just me.  I also spend a significant amount of time with colleagues that are upset and need advice on how to respond to difficult parents, or having to go into their class on my DOTT at short notice to cover their class because they are too visibly upset to teach.  You can't teach when you're in tears.  This is not about resilience, it's a natural human reaction to being attacked.  

To anyone who thinks it's ok to speak to your child's teacher like this, remember we're human and we're exhausted by this type of contact.  We don't deserve this when we're only trying to do the best we can for your child.  These are GOOD teachers who are being spoken to in this way; can we really afford to lose good people from the teaching profession?

#2 rileys-mum

Posted 24 August 2019 - 10:19 PM

But the rest of us who are full time in  the workforce deal with correspondence outside of work hours from stakeholders so I would like to know why teachers should be exempt from this?

#3 JRA

Posted 24 August 2019 - 10:20 PM

Fair enough.

I am surprised that it was needed to be said that teachers don't have to respond out of hours.  Surely that is as expected.

#4 Dadto2

Posted 24 August 2019 - 10:22 PM

I'm in WA and am just gob-smacked at how much crap teachers put up with.

#5 Expelliarmus

Posted 24 August 2019 - 10:25 PM

View Postrileys-mum, on 24 August 2019 - 10:19 PM, said:

But the rest of us who are full time in  the workforce deal with correspondence outside of work hours from stakeholders so I would like to know why teachers should be exempt from this?
Some people, as part of their work agreement - not everybody who works full time. Many people are paid to be available or in on-call situations. Teachers are not paid to be on-call or available 24/7,nor expected to by education departments. This expectations comes from families.

View PostJRA, on 24 August 2019 - 10:20 PM, said:

Fair enough.

I am surprised that it was needed to be said that teachers don't have to respond out of hours.  Surely that is as expected.
Depends what is in the enterprise agreement probably. It may not be explicitly stated.

Edited by Expelliarmus, 24 August 2019 - 10:26 PM.


#6 PatG

Posted 24 August 2019 - 10:28 PM

View Postrileys-mum, on 24 August 2019 - 10:19 PM, said:

But the rest of us who are full time in  the workforce deal with correspondence outside of work hours from stakeholders so I would like to know why teachers should be exempt from this?

I don't. And my boss certainly does not allow abusive clients to continue using our service.

I can't imagine any email from a parent that needs to be responded to before the following morning, barring one directly relating to the safety of a student which wouldnt be dealt with by a classroom teacher anyway.

#7 Murderino

Posted 24 August 2019 - 10:40 PM

View Postrileys-mum, on 24 August 2019 - 10:19 PM, said:

But the rest of us who are full time in  the workforce deal with correspondence outside of work hours from stakeholders so I would like to know why teachers should be exempt from this?

Nope. I’m not a teacher and I’m paid to work during my work hours so I don’t respond to work enquires outside of my work hours.

I don’t think anyone should be working outside their paid work hours.

#8 SeaPrincess

Posted 24 August 2019 - 10:45 PM

View Postrileys-mum, on 24 August 2019 - 10:19 PM, said:

But the rest of us who are full time in  the workforce deal with correspondence outside of work hours from stakeholders so I would like to know why teachers should be exempt from this?
Nothing about my job was so time critical that I needed to respond outside of my working hours, even when I was part time. I didn’t have a work phone, so I never gave clients my number. If something was really urgent, my boss would call me. And, as per PatG, an abusive client would no longer be using our services.



#9 annodam

Posted 24 August 2019 - 11:31 PM

DH works FT & he does not respond to any e-Mails after he clocks off.
Soon as he drives out of the plant, that'll be it until he drives back in again the following day or Monday morning.

If you want to respond to e-Mails 24/7 that's your call.
I would never in a million years expect a Teacher to respond to my correspondence after hours.
Usually when I do e-Mail, I do it between 9:00am - 3:00pm on a weekday.

#10 Delirium

Posted 24 August 2019 - 11:38 PM

View Postrileys-mum, on 24 August 2019 - 10:19 PM, said:

But the rest of us who are full time in  the workforce deal with correspondence outside of work hours from stakeholders so I would like to know why teachers should be exempt from this?
I would suggest that most employees do not have to respond to clients out of hours. (I haven’t always been a teacher and have experience in other industries).  

Also, it is the abusive nature of the communication that is a concern. People have the right to work free from abuse.

#11 hills mum bec

Posted 24 August 2019 - 11:40 PM

View Postrileys-mum, on 24 August 2019 - 10:19 PM, said:

But the rest of us who are full time in  the workforce deal with correspondence outside of work hours from stakeholders so I would like to know why teachers should be exempt from this?

That’s a huge generalisation.  I work full time in a senior management position and I do not respond to correspondence outside of my work hours.  I also don’t think anybody should have to deal with abusive emails from anybody.

#12 JBH

Posted 24 August 2019 - 11:41 PM

Our school no longer hands out teachers’ email addresses. Emails have to be send to a centralised address and are forwarded to teachers. It’s quite good in that it means people don’t expect teachers receive things instantly, and people are more measured when they know something is being read by someone else. I used to wonder how it would work if your child was having an urgent issue, but when mine did I called the school at 830 and got a call back from the teacher by 8.50, so it wasn’t like I couldn’t access someone quickly when I needed to.

#13 José

Posted 25 August 2019 - 03:21 AM

View Postrileys-mum, on 24 August 2019 - 10:19 PM, said:

But the rest of us who are full time in  the workforce deal with correspondence outside of work hours from stakeholders so I would like to know why teachers should be exempt from this?

i dont think thats true.
my DH doesn't read or respond to emails out side of work hours.

as another example i was reading about a psychiatrist who is no longer allowed to be registered due to improper behaviour with a client.  one thing that was noted was that he was emailing her after hours and this was considered inappropriate (as was the content of the emails and other things)

#14 The Little Engine

Posted 25 August 2019 - 07:04 AM

I often get emails or messages out of hours - sometimes I respond but usually I wait till the next day. I got an email yesterday morning at 12:30am (Sat morn) from a parent enquiring about something. Thankfully I didn't hear the notification- I did respond yesterday around 7pm - so still on 'my time I haven't had abusive emails though! (Thankfuly)

#15 niban

Posted 25 August 2019 - 07:18 AM

View Postrileys-mum, on 24 August 2019 - 10:19 PM, said:

But the rest of us who are full time in  the workforce deal with correspondence outside of work hours from stakeholders so I would like to know why teachers should be exempt from this?

WTF?! I work in a senior consulting role in IT and yes, part and parcel of this is that I will reply to time-sensitive emails and project deadlines out of hours. On the other hand I have flexibility during the days and manage my work schedule.  I don't expect the teachers of my children - who have a huge workload, have to be physically present through the school day, then do all the additional prepping and admin,  to work around the clock. And 'stakeholders' - I certainly don't have 25+ of them barraging me at any given time!

#16 kimasa

Posted 25 August 2019 - 07:26 AM

View Postrileys-mum, on 24 August 2019 - 10:19 PM, said:

But the rest of us who are full time in  the workforce deal with correspondence outside of work hours from stakeholders so I would like to know why teachers should be exempt from this?

I certainly don't.
No one I work with does.
And when I do (I'm the after hours manager and have to take sick leave calls and roster replacements on weekends) I get financially compensated.
My husband certainly doesn't have to take client calls or emails at home either. His work phone gets switched off as soon as he leaves the building.

So no, the entire "rest of us" don't.

#17 nakedrhubarb

Posted 25 August 2019 - 08:46 AM

I might send an email to my kids teacher outside of school hours - it might be when I have been told about a school issue that needs to be raised. I certainly don't expect a reply out of hours.

Teachers have the same right as everyone else to be safe from abusive communications and intimidation and should be protected from that by their employer.

#18 PhillipaCrawford

Posted 25 August 2019 - 08:55 AM

View Postrileys-mum, on 24 August 2019 - 10:19 PM, said:

But the rest of us who are full time in  the workforce deal with correspondence outside of work hours from stakeholders so I would like to know why teachers should be exempt from this?

I think most other PP's have answered that it is not normal for other occupations. And I can add that my DH earns upwards of $200k and the only communication he has outside work are the texts asking him to come in for overtime.

I wanted to address the issue of why teachers should be exempt. In an office job if you have had out of hours communications that have disrupted your life who is affected the next day? Your paperwork and your colleagues.
In my job it is the 25 other children I teach, plus their parents and all the other children in the kinder. When I go into teach each day I put my game hat on, I am instantly available to everyone - remember that exhaustion you feel after your couple of kids have been 'riley'smumming' ALL day - try handling that level of demand from 26. And I have no staff room, coffee break is a couple of swigs before I put it down - most days toilet breaks are a fond memory
In order to do the job, any job properly staff need to mentally turn off. The expectation that anyone be available for work 24/7 is dangerous, for teachers and others whose job revolves around putting others first it seriously impacts on their ability to do it.

#19 Burro

Posted 25 August 2019 - 09:06 AM

View Postrileys-mum, on 24 August 2019 - 10:19 PM, said:

But the rest of us who are full time in  the workforce deal with correspondence outside of work hours from stakeholders so I would like to know why teachers should be exempt from this?

Teachers might work with 150 kids, plus their parents. Plus 50-100+ colleagues. If they were all as entitled as you there wouldn’t be enough outside of work hours.

#20 Not Escapin Xmas

Posted 25 August 2019 - 09:22 AM

I'm not going to comment on Riley's Mum's post, since that's been well and truly covered.

Back to the WA ed dept announcement, I think it's fantastic!

#21 Burro

Posted 25 August 2019 - 09:26 AM

Delirium - I hear you.

Leadership at your school need to address the issues with parents. I’m sure the majority of parents would be horrified to learn that some families are manipulating, time wasting, cheating and harassing teachers.

A high staff turnover is sign of stress and very disruptive. This type of parent has an impact on students, teaching and learning programs as well as staff.

#22 Murderino

Posted 25 August 2019 - 09:28 AM

View Postannodam, on 24 August 2019 - 11:31 PM, said:

If you want to respond to e-Mails 24/7 that's your call.
I would never in a million years expect a Teacher to respond to my correspondence after hours.
Usually when I do e-Mail, I do it between 9:00am - 3:00pm on a weekday.

I will send an email when I think of it which might be outside hours but I always open with something along the lines of “sorry to send this after hours, I know I won’t get a response for a while but I just remembered ...”

#23 Lucrezia Borgia

Posted 25 August 2019 - 09:40 AM

i’m not in WA but i would say it’s a country wide problem. the attitude and behaviour of parents is appalling. “nothing but the best for my precious snowflake” and if they fall short, well - it’s teacher’s fault! let’s send her or him a hectoring email so they can fix everything that’s wrong with my kid. hot tip - the problem is closer to home. Apple, tree and all that....


#24 crankybee

Posted 25 August 2019 - 09:42 AM

View Postrileys-mum, on 24 August 2019 - 10:19 PM, said:

But the rest of us who are full time in  the workforce deal with correspondence outside of work hours from stakeholders so I would like to know why teachers should be exempt from this?

My core job is to teach. So anything I do outside school hours is related to my core job - marking, planning etc. I answer parent emails within 24 hours of receiving them (as my contract says I must). And if it was abusive I would forward it to the person who is paid more than me - my Head Teacher.

Edited by crankybee, 25 August 2019 - 09:49 AM.


#25 Delirium

Posted 25 August 2019 - 09:46 AM

It’s more about the abusive emails, rather than the timing of the emails.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

 
 
Advertisement
 

Top 5 Viewed Articles

 
Advertisement
 
 
 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.