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  • 1.  Absent teacher--let families know?

    Posted 10-15-2022 10:18 PM
    What is the policy and what is your experience with telling families ahead of arrival that a teacher will be absent from the class that day? Does the teacher who will be out, the teachers who will be in class, or the director inform the families?
    Assuming you have an hour or two notice, is it helpful for arriving children?

    Best wishes,

    Peggy Ashbrook
    Early childhood science teacher
    Alexandria, VA
    NSTA Early Years blog contributor,
    Author: Science Learning in the Early Years, and
    Science Is Simple

  • 2.  RE: Absent teacher--let families know?

    Posted 10-17-2022 10:11 AM
    Interesting question!

    I am not in the habit of sending out formal communication unless it is a planned absence.

    I do try to mention to families and children as they arrive who will be in their room if it is out of the ordinary.

    Samantha Lemoine
    Program Director
    The Child Development Center at RFK Community Alliance
    Lancaster MA

  • 3.  RE: Absent teacher--let families know?

    Posted 10-18-2022 12:24 PM
    If one of the two co-teachers is out without advance notice we don't send anything out generally.  If we know in advance then the teacher emails families themselves, and on the rare occasion when both members of a teaching team need to be out on the same day, I definitely email as soon as I know that and let them know who will be teaching the class that day.

    I've made exceptions.  I'm thinking of a time when a child was new to our school and was taking comfort during their adjustment from one teacher in particular and then that teacher was going to be out.  In that case I reached out to the parents so they could prepare the child.

    Sharon Rosenberg-Scholl
    Temple Israel Early Childhood Center
    Minneapolis MN

  • 4.  RE: Absent teacher--let families know?

    Posted 10-19-2022 10:48 AM
    Hi Peggy,

    It can be helpful to share that the teacher will be out, especially if you have students with Special Needs. I am a University Supervisor for student teachers. I was visiting a school on Monday and a first grader refused to go into the classroom where the substitute was. He doesn't like change so, the Resource teacher was trying to coax him into the room. If he and his family knew ahead of time, it may have helped him transition.
    In this day of technology, I think the teacher could easily inform the parents via email or an app like Class Dojo, etc. Or, if they are in an emergency situation, the TA or Principal could follow through with telling the families.
    Have a great day!


    Deb Martinez
    Clinical Professor, ECE, ELEM, SPED
    Arizona State University
    Phoenix AZ

  • 5.  RE: Absent teacher--let families know?

    Posted 11-28-2022 02:57 AM
    Aloha Peggy,

    Thank you for this thought provoking question. I have never thought to inform the family members when a teacher is going to be absent that day. The only time we inform families of teacher absences is usually when they are gone for a couple of days to a week. I know if parents ask where the teacher is I would inform them. I think it would be helpful for driving children to be prepared for a change at school but I would tell the class or child when they get to school why their teacher is not there and when they would come back. My program uses bright wheel to communicate with parents so I could see using that to inform parents of teachers absences would be helpful.

    Danyelle Contreras
    Wailuku HI

  • 6.  RE: Absent teacher--let families know?

    Posted 11-29-2022 06:35 AM
    I believe in letting families know when a teacher is going to be absent. I do it all the time. Some children don't like change and parents as well for that matter. I have a little one who looks forward to seeing me everyday, his parents do too. It helps .

  • 7.  RE: Absent teacher--let families know?

    Posted 11-29-2022 12:18 AM
    Hi Peggy,

    I have 1 full-time teacher per classroom.  If they have a planned absence, they are to notify their families in advance.  If one of them call out sick we typically notify families via email that morning.  Some families find this to be helpful, especially if their child has difficult transitions and this information can help them plan their day.
    We do not however notify families when one of our student staff is out for the day.
    -Erica Almaguer

    Erica Almaguer
    Associated Students of SF State
    San Francisco CA

  • 8.  RE: Absent teacher--let families know?

    Posted 12-10-2022 12:07 AM

    Hi Peggy,

    This is very timely! I actually just made an email template for myself (a program director) to start informing families as soon as I know their teacher will be absent. It is a brief letter, along the lines of "please let you child know that Teacher X is staying home with his family today, so Teacher Y will be in the classroom. As usual, Teacher W will be there as well!"

    I find it helps reduce everyone's stress level, parents included.

    Elizabeth Nolasco
    Greenbrae CA