The vast majority of ACEP parents (especially parents of primary students) are far more supportive of their children (and teachers!) than many Western parents. Almost all Thai parents have high academic expectations of their children.
Mobile phone number:
  • Culturally, Thai teachers will provide parents with their mobile phone number.
  • Foreign teachers are advised NOT to give parents their mobile phone number. If parents ask for a teacher’s mobile phone number the teacher is advised to politely decline (due to ‘cultural reasons’) but offer the school’s number.
Communication with parents:

During the school year, teachers should maintain communication with parents. Methods for doing this include:

  • Email: Each teacher’s email address is on the ACEP webpage. Teachers MUST check this email address daily.
  • The students’ homework diary: For cultural reasons, teachers should NOT use red pen to write anything to parents or Thai teachers
  • Teachers cannot use any form of ACEP logo/letterhead for correspondence with parents unless this has been approved by an administrator.
When writing to parents, foreign teachers should always use a positive tone even if the student has done the worst thing in the world. This is to keep the parents on our side. Messages should begin with ‘Dear Parents’ and end with something like ‘Thank you for your help with this matter’.
Teachers should think about what they want to write, and avoid writing at a time when they are angry or emotional. They should also be careful not to ‘blame’ parents for their child’s misbehaviour, as this can be very counterproductive in Thai culture.
Gifts: From time to time parents will give gifts to teachers. Teachers may accept these although they should be certain that the parent is giving the gift ‘in good faith’ and not as an incentive for the teacher to ‘help’ their child’s scores! If teachers do receive a gift they should not openly discuss details with colleagues in the Teachers’ Room – especially around Christmas/New Year time when all teachers are receiving gifts (including money) from parents or parent committees.
Invitations to dinners etc: From time to time a parent may invite teachers to a family dinner, weekend holiday (!) etc. As a general rule, the teacher should only accept the invitation if they are willing to accept an invitation from EVERY parent who offers one in the future so as not to show favouritism to any particular students. Basically, teachers should accept ALL or NONE.
Invitations to activities arranged by parent committees: Teachers should not attend activities arranged by parent committees unless they have been approved by the school. This is because they are NOT school activities and if teachers do attend they are perceived as such by the public and/or facility or service owners.
Social Networking Websites: To ensure that an appropriate rapport is maintained with parents, and to ensure that teachers maintain a separate social life outside of school, teachers should not ‘befriend’ parents on social networking websites such as Facebook using their personal profiles.
In recent years, parents of students in younger Year Levels have set up ‘class Facebook groups’. Teachers should use a ‘teacher’ profile for this group (not their personal profile).
Discussion Topics: During the school year, teachers may develop a good rapport with some parents. However, teachers must at all times be professional and remember that certain things should never be discussed with parents. These things include:
  • Other students in the class or Year Level (e.g. – their family situation, behaviour or academic ability/results).
  • Matters related to colleagues in school (e.g. – marking systems, homework, routines, your perception of their work ethic, etc.)
  • Matters related to colleagues outside of school (e.g. – holiday plans, weekend activities, etc.)
  • Information provided during staff meetings or in memos NOT yet intended for parents (e.g.– exam results, planned activities, changes in school policy, future staffing, etc.)
Discussing matters such as these with parents is unethical and has the potential to damage the image of the school. Teachers should also be aware that matters discussed with parents could become gossip. Although discussions may occur outside of the school, if it is brought to the attention of school administrators that a teacher has not followed the guidelines above their contract may not be renewed the following school year.
If parents ask for information teachers should be vague or tell them directly that they do not know yet.
Meetings with Parents: Teachers are encouraged to arrange meetings with parents if a student is having ongoing academic, social or behaviour issues. However, before requesting a meeting with parents, teachers should discuss the matter with their Year Coordinator / Head of Content or another school administrator to seek their approval (in case they can provide additional information).
Teachers should ensure that all meetings have a clear agenda and objectives that will assist in improving the problem/s rather than being a ‘venting’ session. If a translator is required for a meeting, teachers should speak with the Head of Foreign Affairs who will arrange for a suitable Thai colleague to assist. If the meeting is outside of school hours and a translator is required, the teacher should give at least 48 hours notice. Following parent meetings, the teacher should record details of the meeting and give them to the Head of Foreign Affairs for filing and future reference.
Parent Committee Meetings: During the school year parents from each class will be invited by Parent Committee Leaders to attend meetings.
Foreign teachers are encouraged to attend some of these meetings. If they decline an invitation (“in order to allow parents to run the meetings in Thai”), foreign teachers should offer to prepare a summary of matters related to the class that the Parent Committee Leaders can translate into Thai and distribute to all parents.