Handling Complaints in a Mannerly Way One of the most difficult areas of teaching is handling student and parent complaints. Usually, such situations put us on the defensive and make us forget our good manners. Following are some suggestions for handling complaints in a mannerly way: Immediately after hearing a student or parent complain, say, "I’m sorry you have had this problem." Whether the complainer is speaking to you over the telephone or in person, find out the complete details of the complaint. Do not interrupt except to verify that you have heard the person correctly. Try to keep in mind that the person complaining believes he or she is right and knows the truth of the situation--even if he or she doesn’t. If the parent or student is wrong, explain the circumstances calmly and in a way that shows you are interested in solving the problem. Send a follow-up note whether the difficulty was settled in favor of the parent, the student, or the school. Assure the complaintant that his or her opinions are valued and that the school makes every effort to ensure a quality education for all of its students. Using these courtesies will enhance your level of professionalism and help provide a foundation for cooperation between parents, teachers, and students.