Rochelle’s Special Education Tips
Emails – A Never Ending Source of Problems
E-mails are not your friends. Almost every e-mail you write, except for those that are privileged because they are to your attorney, is subject to disclosure either through FERPA, Maryland’s Public Information Act, or a subpoena. When you can, instead of writing an e-mail, pick up the phone to talk to a colleague. You are not avoiding the problem by using your personal e-mail account or not including the student’s name within the e-mail. E-mails are great for scheduling meetings in the educational setting, or forwarding IEP notices and assessment reports to parents, but not much else.
No one expects you to spend your evenings or planning periods responding to e-mails from parents or advocates who are serial e-mailers. They do not respect your time. You are entitled to a personal life. Plus, when you e-mail at night, you make mistakes after working a long day. Talk to your Principal if you are dealing with a parent who is a serial e-mailer. These are parents who send you e-mail after e-mail, with never-ending questions. Perhaps the parent should come in for a Parent-Teacher conference, with a set time for the conference. Or perhaps an IEP team meeting is needed.