With the start of another school year, your child will begin to develop a relationship with his or her new classroom teacher. Equally important, is laying the groundwork for your relationship with your child’s teacher.
An open dialogue between the classroom and home is an asset for any student, and parents are key members of a school’s education team.
I get to see the classroom from inside and out. I’ve been a teacher for 6 years and I have a son in kindergarten, an age level where there is a lot of communication, so, I know what it’s like to be on both sides of the discussion.
Here are 5 tips for connecting with your child’s teacher to develop a positive relationship and help make the upcoming school year a success.
Building parent-teacher relationships
1) Most teachers will send home an introductory package, introducing themselves and explaining classroom rules and policies. Read it carefully with your son or daughter and reach out for clarification if you need it. Everyone in the classroom community should begin on the same page.
2) Touch base early with the classroom teacher. A phone call, a note or a brief stop in can go a long way. Say ‘hi’ and tell us something about your child. All good teachers want to get to know their students on a personal level.
3) Keep up with classroom responsibilities. Return all forms and materials promptly. Time is a precious commodity in the classroom and teachers are always grateful not to have to chase parents for outstanding forms.
How parents can communicate with teachers
4) Don’t limit communication to when something negative happens. Let your child’s teacher know if you like what’s happening in the classroom or tell us about an exciting event or accomplishment. Differentiated learning is important in the classroom, not every student learns the same way. It’s important for teachers to be able to use a student’s passion in the classroom to facilitate learning.
5) When you have a concern about something that happened in the classroom, touch base with the teacher to get a full picture of what occurred. Take a moment to speak with the teacher and hear the other side before reacting. With the advent of social media, more and more teachers are coming across parents saying negative things online. This immediately sours a parent-teacher relationship. If there’s a problem, speak with the teacher. We really do appreciate the communication!
The importance of parent-teacher meetings
6) Attend the first open house or progress report meeting with your son or daughter. This way the child can see that there is a link between teacher and parent, and you can highlight positives and set goals for the school year.
These simple tips can go a long way towards a fruitful relationship between home and school. At the end of the day, parents, teachers and children are a team and communication is key to success for all.