Does constant oversight help or hurt?

Parents, imagine if the person your boss reported to could log into a system at any time, see the current status of your work, and then—without any necessary context—demand both explanations for and solutions to any perceived shortcomings of the work itself.

Would that create a supportive environment for you or your boss?

Would it help you do your best work?

Or would you come to dread and resent the constant over-your-shoulder presence?

If you regularly check your student’s grades online and then fire off emails to teachers with questions, suggestions, or requests, you’re likely behaving like the boss’s boss above.

Engagement and interest in your student’s education are hallmarks of good, responsible parenting. But constant oversight and communication with teachers just removes agency that students should be developing for themselves.

Yes, every student and situation is different. And there are likely scenarios where more frequent interaction is appropriate. When in doubt, ask the teacher if the interactions you’re driving are helpful, and if not, what interactions would be more constructive.

Here’s a past post with some guidelines for parents when emailing teachers.