26 answers

Late Picking My Son up from Kindergarten

My husband just called me. He couldn't find the keys and my son was already supposed to have been picked up from school. I hightailed it over there, but by the time I got there we were 30 minutes late picking him up and his teacher had to stand there with him the whole time. I had the phone to my ear calling the entire way. They didn't pick up. I feel terrible. I know occasionally these things happen, but it's so embarassing. I apologized profusely, but you could tell she was not happy. Should I do something for her? Bring her a potted plant or something? Or am I overthinking this?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I didn't find out about the problem until school had already been out for 10 minutes. I called nonstop and never got a person on the phone. Just rang and rang. I assume they were doing parking lot duty or something. My son wasn't the last one there. I saw 4 other kids sitting there, so he was having fun playing with the other stragglers.

Featured Answers

I don't think you need to get her a gift. Instead, I would ask her/the office what to do next time so that you can inform them that you will be late.

To me, a gift is trying too hard to prove you're a good parent or something. You messed up, lesson learned.

6 moms found this helpful

In addition to Everley's suggestion, if you have her email address along with the principal's email, send her another thank you via email and copy her supervisor/principal to let them know how helpful she was for this one time thing. It happens!!

5 moms found this helpful

I don't think you need to give her a gift, but if I were you I would write a nice, handwritten note of apology. That will mean a lot to the teacher. Oh, and if it makes you feel any better, my good friend called me on Friday in a panic. She was hoping I could pick up her son at kindergarten b/c apparently it was a half day and she forgot. She was 45 minutes away from the school when they called her! I was on my way out of town so I couldn't do it. Like you, my friend felt terrible. But, it happens!!

4 moms found this helpful

More Answers

I don't think you need to get her a gift. Instead, I would ask her/the office what to do next time so that you can inform them that you will be late.

To me, a gift is trying too hard to prove you're a good parent or something. You messed up, lesson learned.

6 moms found this helpful

These things happen trust me you have 12 more years of this, this will not be the last time you are late. Don't stress about it don't over think it as long as you told her thank you and apologized for being late to her and your son you are all good.

5 moms found this helpful

What a nice teacher to wait with him and not send him to sit in the office like we usually do! Maybe this is a small school with no one in the office? A card would be nice, I love to get Thanks you's from parents, we get a lot of strange and complaining notes from parents (Suzy Gave away her silly Banz and now she's sad. How could you let those mean children do that to our poor little girl!!! (Why did you send my child home on the bus didnt you read my mind and know I was picking her up today as a special surprise!) it's so nice to get a good note for a change, an official, written thank you would be super!

5 moms found this helpful

In addition to Everley's suggestion, if you have her email address along with the principal's email, send her another thank you via email and copy her supervisor/principal to let them know how helpful she was for this one time thing. It happens!!

5 moms found this helpful

Hi T.,

Well, everyone knows that these things happen, but it is yucky when it's right at the start of the school year :-)

I think it would be nice to give her something for her time. You can look at it this way.... The teachers here at CPS are paid (on average) $40/hour for 'after school' duties - which means if they are a coach, drama sponsor, tutortime, dance etc. So, if you were 30 minutes late that is basically $20 she "should" have been paid. Clearly you aren't going to hand her $20, but what about supplies? You could tell her that you would love to get her some additional supplies for the class - is there anything she didn't get enough of that the class still needs?

The other thing you could do is trade time for time, so "give" her 30 minutes of your time..... could you bring home papers and grade them for her? help her with her overhead slides? Type up a newsletter for her parents?

4 moms found this helpful

I don't think you need to give her a gift, but if I were you I would write a nice, handwritten note of apology. That will mean a lot to the teacher. Oh, and if it makes you feel any better, my good friend called me on Friday in a panic. She was hoping I could pick up her son at kindergarten b/c apparently it was a half day and she forgot. She was 45 minutes away from the school when they called her! I was on my way out of town so I couldn't do it. Like you, my friend felt terrible. But, it happens!!

4 moms found this helpful

Get her a coffee card or something like that! $10 and a card that says you're sorry!

4 moms found this helpful

That happened to us last year. I was out of town and the teacher called me saying our son wasn't picked up yet. GOOD THING we're friends but I felt HORRIBLE because it cut into their lunch time (morning pre-school.) My husband walked in as we were on the phone.

I baked them some of their favorite things I bake and told them THAT wasn't going to happen again and made SURE it didn't. Call me a brown nose but baked treats go a looong way with teachers, just as long as you can REALLY bake. :)

3 moms found this helpful

I'd do something, like get her a gift card to Starbucks with a cute apology note. It was 30 minutes of her time that she had to spend not doing whatever she had planned... something small to acknowledge it is nice. And be really careful in the next couple of weeks. She is probably nervous you're going to become "that family" that is always late. So prove her wrong!

3 moms found this helpful

I absolutely think you ought to bring her a gift, so she'll know your apology is sincere. Include a card with another apology. It's what I would do...and a potted plant for the classroom (or something else nice for the classroom) sounds really neat...plus maybe a little something for her (a little Godiva chocolate bar, maybe?)

I am so shocked everyone else is saying no, don't do anything!!! Since when is it bad to go out of your way to do something nice for someone when you've overstepped your bounds (even if it was an accident?) Teacher's need WAY more appreciation, she stayed with your son...ABSOLUTELY give her something. She probably DOESN'T expect it because obviously no one else would do it! Oh!

3 moms found this helpful

I don't think you need to do anything extra.

3 moms found this helpful

I like the idea of writing a note, explaining what happened, thanking her for being there and apologizing for the inconvenience and that you feel horrible about it. I think words can mean more than anything else;-)

3 moms found this helpful

I think you are fine ... it happens - just be glad you are not in Tx they call CPS when you are late and they take care of the kid(s) for the school fun fun.

2 moms found this helpful

I don't think you need to buy her a plant. Things like this does happen. Maybe send her a card but she has to know these things do happen. We are human, I hate it too when it happens, I'm so embarrassed too.

2 moms found this helpful

My first thought would be to give her something to apologize but then I would think that might offend her too, b/c it might look like you are trying to buy her off.

I would just do a respectful note of apology. Whatever you decide, I would do or say something at a later date to acknowledge your appreciation for her waiting w/your child and ensuring his safety and well being.

2 moms found this helpful

This stuff happens and it's wrong of her to act put out about something like this. Now I DO act VERY put out when people don't pay me on time. I don't want to hear that they FORGOT to pay me. But everyone misplaces keys sometime.

2 moms found this helpful

It probably would be nice to get her a little something. I'm sure it sucks to be stuck waiting for moms to pick up their kids, and I"m sure it happens more than they like.

2 moms found this helpful

Once I took my son to school, dropped him off, he went inside. It was cold and rainy so I figured the kids were all waiting in the gym. OH no. There was no school that day, only a teacher workday. I was called about 20 minutes later, Mrs. M would you please come get your little man. oops.

It happens. I would say somethig about them not answering of the phone. This is the first weeks of school. They should have someone on phone duty in the afternoons to answer the phone calls like yours, or the 4 other mothers who were possibly trying to call.

2 moms found this helpful

I would definatly do a little something for her. Alot of teachers put in extra time with kids without it ever being appreciated.

2 moms found this helpful

I think more than anything, you and your DH need to communicate earlier when this happens and not let it happen again or often. I think THAT would make the teacher happy.

We've all done it. I was stuck in traffic once picking up SD and DH got called to get her. I got a cell phone after that...

2 moms found this helpful

EDIT: Since you weren't able to get through, I'd talk to her (when you bring your little token, perhaps?) about how you are to contact her when nobody answers the phone. Is there an alternate line?

I guarantee that this isn't the first time, nor will it be the last time your child's teacher has to deal with this. That's just life. If you're worried about her being upset with you, and it would make you feel better, do something nice (I don't really recommend a plant...some people are allergic...and I have kitties at home who could become ill if they eat a tropical plant). But don't OVER do it.

1 mom found this helpful

As a teacher, I wouldn't expect a gift. Your apology is enough and obviously you're not a chronic offender. It happens. A half hour late is not too bad, unless the teacher workday ends as soon as kids dismiss and the teacher was late for something.

However, I'm surprised that the school made the teacher wait. At my school, forgotten students wait in the office and the principal is responsible after the teacher workday.

And you're right-there's no one in the office to answer the phone when you call after hours, so how in the world do you let them know you're on your way?

Don't worry about.

1 mom found this helpful

Don't do anything. Just don't make it a habit....for your son's sake, not hers. :) She probably has to stay late anyway. Your son however, may not have a safe or good place to hangout while waiting for you.

Be more worried about him and his feelings...not the teacher. That just comes with the territory for her.

1 mom found this helpful

I would think SOMEONE would be available to answer the phone. Even if they couldn't get the message to the teacher right away, at least someone would know what was happening. Typcially, after certain point (10-15 minutes) most schools have all kids left at school wait in one central location where not every child would have THEIR specific teacher. I don't think you need to get a gift but if you haven't already, I would just tell the teacher what happened so she knows you didn't just flake.

I would ask your husband to call you BEFORE he is late (if he called when he first couldn't find the keys, he could have called the school before your son was dimissed and you wouldn't have been as late getting there).

1 mom found this helpful

How nice of you to be concerned about this. I used to be the teacher in this situation. I would not send my young students to the office, because they would be fine with me, but perhaps upset in a non-classroom situation. And I probably looked "not happy" when the parent arrived if I had missed an important staff meeting and would then have to apologize to my principal, or if that time had been scheduled for meeting with another parent, or if I had to leave quickly to drive my young ones to an after-school activity. The very best way of handling this is to apologize (which you did) and to try your best not to have it happen again. A note to the teacher is not necessary, but would be kind of you.

1 mom found this helpful

HA! I was 30 minutes late picking up my kindergartener yesterday too! It was entirely my fault. I was on the phone at work and then glanced at the time. I literally dropped the phone and flew out of there. There was my son, grinning at me like a cat that got the cream. I apologised to the teacher, and to my son.

Apparently everyone does it at some stage. Schools should have a procedure to follow. The teacher waiting with my son explained their procedure yesterday. Also, the teacher acted like it was no biggie. My son said that he had like it (who knows what goes on in their little heads??).

I wouldn't do anything. An apology is enough.

1 mom found this helpful

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