Writing replies

You may sometimes want to, or be required to, write a reply to a note from your child’s teacher or to a newsletter or information handout from school. If you are not sure when to reply, please refer to the following examples.


When the teacher has written about your child’s activities at school
Teachers often write in the renrakucho to tell you what your child did at school. The following are common expressions used to tell you about your child’s activities at school:
「~した(名前なまえ)ちゃんです」(〜shita (child’s name)-chan desu, or "(child's name) did ~")
「~していた(名前なまえ)ちゃんです」(〜shite ita (child’s name)-chan desu, or "(child's name) was doing ~") For example: 「おともだちと上手じょうずにおかきした(名前なまえ)ちゃんです」/ otomodachi to jozu ni oekaki shita (child’s name)-chan desu, or "Your child drew well with his/her friends."
You do not need to feel obliged to write something back to the teacher after receiving these reports. Stamping an inkan or hanko (a personal seal) or writing your signature to acknowledge that you have seen the message is fine.
When you agree with or feel the same about what your child’s teacher wrote
You can underline the part of the message you agree with and write 「そうですね」 (so desu ne) to say “I agree / I feel the same.”
When your child forgot to bring something or you forgot to hand in something
In this case, simply writing「すみません」(sumimasen) to say “I’m sorry” is fine.
Writing an apology for something that you have forgotten
When the teacher did something special for your child
Giving a simple response such as「ありがとうございます」(arigato gozaimasu, or "Thank you") or「たすかりました」(tasukarimashita, or "Thank you for your help") is fine.
Writing a thank you note or an apology for borrowing something from the school, or for something a teacher did for your child
When the teacher wants to make a request of you,
When the teacher wants to make a request of you, he/she will often use phrases such as:
「(名前なまえ)ちゃんは~したいようです」((child’s name)-chan wa 〜shitai yo desu, or “Your child seems to want to ~”
「(名前なまえ)ちゃんには~しても大丈夫だいじょうぶなようです」((child’s name)-chan ni wa ~shite mo daijobuna yo desu, or “Your child seems ready to ~”
In such cases, the teacher is expecting a reply from you.
Writing a reply to a request from the school
When your child’s teacher expresses concern or happiness for your child or you
In such cases, simply writing「ありがとうございます」 (arigato gozaimasu) to say “Thank you so much” is fine.
When teachers express concern or gladness for your child or family with regards to something that is not related to school life