Please, when you call up a parent, know the correct name of the person to whom you wish to speak. Do not use this opportunity to pass judgment on the amount of times the person has been married and your inability to keep track of the name changes.
Please identify yourself, the educational establishment you represent, and what subject you teach. If you do not have this information you shouldn’t be allowed to make this phone call.
Please also identify exactly which child you would like to speak to the parent about. “Your son” or “Your daughter” doesn’t help much when you have several in the same school. Again, if you don’t know about which child you are calling don’t make the call. Parents cannot be expected to remember which of their kids is in what grade. Most of the time we can’t even remember their names when they are in front of us.
Please also check your facts before making the call just in case you might be wrong. This can avoid many hassles for YOU such as having to look for a child, that has been exempted from a certain class, because you called the parent to say the child was missing from school. Additionally please remember perhaps there is a good reason. Perhaps one should check with the authority figures at the school whether permission was granted for said child to be absent / present elsewhere at a certain time. Perhaps the parent is aware the child isn’t there. Checking your facts would prevent you having to make a follow up call to said parent to apologize and to assuage their fears and put their mind at ease that the child is indeed present in their scholastic institution and hasn’t been kidnapped by rabid wild dingoes.
Please also remember, when talking to the parents, to have an easy conciliatory tone. Most parents don’t take kindly to accusations and bullying. You need to be on the same page – the best interests of the child. Making character assassinations is not helpful, but it does give the parents plenty of fodder for venting at a later date.
Hanging up the phone after muttering expletives does not endear you to the parent body.