Disney Quick Tip – Be thoughtful when emailing your child’s teachers and school.


Do you stress about taking your kids out of school to go on vacation?

Invariably, my family has to vacation during the school year.  My husband is a farmer and this limits our vacation-time to the winter months.  Each year, we evaluate how the kids are doing in school (it’s getting harder to get away now that they are in middle school) in order to plan a vacation.

It is a challenge for many parents to figure out the best way to approach their children’s teachers and administrators.  I know many teachers and have polled their opinions as well as picked their brains about the best way to approach this dilemma.

Here is the letter that I sent to our teachers and administrators this year, feel free to “borrow” parts or all of it in order to email your teachers.


My name is _______ and I am _____ and ______’s mom.  I believe that I have met all of you – thank you all for the wonderful experiences that you are providing my kids this year.  They both love middle school and are enjoying new friends and challenges.

I don’t think we mentioned it to everyone, but we are a farming family.  As such, we are unable to vacation as a family in the spring or summertime. We have taken a very careful look at their grades, study habits, and progress and feel like it is a safe gamble to take time off as a family this winter. We will be going away for the week of: 

My husband and I both have a background in teaching and fully understand how irritating it is when a family asks for “a packet” of work to bring on vacation.  We realize that this makes more work for you both ahead of time in preparateion as well as after the fact when you have to grade work and log it separately.  When we go away, we require the kids to keep a travel log to share with  you when they return and read a considerable amount each day.  We are very willing to give them work to do while we are gone, have them take tests early, makeup work when they return, proctor tests for them, or do whatever you would prefer.  What we do NOT want to do is make busy work for you – we are fine with nothing at all except what we require of them or a set of work from you.  Either is fine.

Again, thank you for all you do for our kids.  We think that they are thriving in middle school and that is in very large part due to the dedication and love that you show them every day.  It certainly does not go unnoticed.


Of course, your situation is likely to be different from ours, but if you approach your teachers in the spirit of cooperation, the chances of push-back could be less.  Make sure that you give them plenty of notice, email the correct employees, and take responsibility for your children’s work load.  Let me know if you have other ideas!

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