We call parents because parents want to be involved. They can’t guess that their child is not following our rules, which we painstakingly explain and enforce in the first few weeks of class, unless we tell them. Telling them in the third week of school is too late.
So we make the call. Parents and teacher work together on behalf of keeping the child on the right path in the classroom.
Only a small percentage of parents don’t return our calls and are not involved in their kids’ lives. If we don’t make the call, because we think it is too much trouble, or we won’t get a response, we will only pay for that omission with a lot more trouble later.
Most parents really want that call. I’m guessing 98%. Make the call at the first sign that a child wants to take some of the kids in the classroom with him or her against you. Make it during class if you must. Talking directly to the kid doesn’t work – they have heard it all a thousand times. Many even have an agenda. I know two boys who admitted later to trying to break their teacher in the first few weeks of the year, making bets on how long it would take. Again, directly talking to the kid in the hallway will most often go in one ear and out the other. We need to wake up to the realities of this profession.
Look, we are either going to get control over oppositionally defiant kids or we will have a long year and all our work to get better at CI. So make the call.