Responding to Parent Emails (Especially Difficult Ones!): Tips for Teachers

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure for more information.

As a teacher, responding to parent emails can be very trying when the parent is being difficult or argumentative.  I’ve had some doozies so far in my teaching career.  Here are some tips that have worked for me to help make the process easier!

How to Respond to Parent Emails

Write a response and wait 24 hours to send it.

As soon as you read an email, your immediate response is going to be very different from your thought-out response. Write the email immediately, but just don’t send it. Once you have thought through your response, re-read the email and make adjustments as necessary. An emotional response is never the approach you want to take.

Only respond to questions.

Unless a parent asks a specific question, there is no reason to respond. Only answer questions that have been asked of you. Don’t get caught up defending yourself or others.  It’s just not worth it.

Be short and sweet.

Try to get your point across in the least amount of words necessary.

End your email with a polite gesture.

Always end your email with “Please let me know if you have any other questions,” “Thank you for your support,” or any other gesture that creates a connection between you and the parent.

Ask for help!

There is nothing wrong with asking someone else for their opinion or to proofread your email. However, make sure that you aren’t violating any FERPA laws when doing so. Make sure the person you choose has an educational need to know about the student.

Most of all, trust that you are a great teacher!

Read more about teaching tips and tricks here!  How else would you recommend responding to parent emails?