Nowadays we have WhatsApp group chats for EVERYTHING, and once class lists for the upcoming scholastic year are out, it’s almost inevitable that one eager mother will set up a “mummies’ chat” for the class. WhatsApp class chats can be useful for practical day to day things and reminders, but here are some basic rules to follow to ensure this new “tool” is used appropriately and in a correct manner.
When setting up the group remember it’s not a “mummies’”chat. This is 2019. In some modern families the mother works, and the father gets equally (or more!) involved in day-to-day matters of the child’s schooling. In some families there are no mummies.
Not all parents appreciate messages at midnight or 5.30am asking if they’re sending a math textbook to school in their kid’s school bag.
On that note, it’s highly recommended that you mute notifications from the class chat to avoid having your phone binging at all times.
If your child doesn’t remember what they have for HW, avoid using the chat as an instant go-to resource if you wish him to grow into an empowered and independent learner. You’re only teaching your child that he doesn’t need to be responsible and that he can rely on his peers’ parents.
If a fellow parent asks if today is PE Kit or formal uniform one answer will suffice. Ten separate messages all stating the same thing won’t make it any more true.
If the School sends out an email with information don’t be that lazy parent who doesn’t bother to read it but asks the rest of the group to summarize the email for you.
When Christmas is around the corner, avoid pressuring all the parents in the class to pool in a substantial amount of money for a designer handbag to give to the teacher. Yes, granted, teachers work hard and deserve a lovely token of appreciation, but some parents might be happier giving a teacher homemade biscuits cut with love by their children.
The chat is not a place to compare and discuss grades and reading levels of kids. It’s not a competition!
Don’t show off your homemade vegetarian muffins you’ve made for your kid’s lunchbox… you’ll only make the working parent who doesn’t have time to cook hate you.
Don’t share and discuss any issues your child might have with learning content, the teacher or in class on the WhatsApp group. Go straight to the teacher, Head or School counsellor… take it to one of the professionals. Sharing with fellow parents usually only makes the issue escalate, and can be counter productive for all parties involved.
These chats are known to be useful for organising children’s birthday presents and get-to-togethers but, if you’re not 100% sure that all the classmates are invited to a party or play date, don’t use the chat to discuss these social events. That can be awkward.
Avoid “hun” and “babe”. That’s just cringy.
Educators are very hardworking, trained, professionals who look after and teach your little loved ones. Have some respect and don’t discuss his or her teaching strategies on the group chat.
Some School principals abroad have “banned” such chats, as they felt they were more harm than good. How do you feel about these chats? Should Maltese schools forbid them?
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