Do you dread talking to your child’s teacher?Many parents do. Some may feel intimidated, reluctant and/or wonder why they need to communicate with their child’s teacher in the first place.
You may think…
As long as I do not get a bad report then my child is doing well, right?
Well, that is not always the case. Just because you do not receive any ‘bad’ news, does not mean that ‘good’ things are happening in the classroom. And since you are not communicating with your child’s teacher, you have no idea what is going with their education. You do not want to wait until you receive their progress report or report card to know what is going on.
It is important to note that parental involvement is one of the top ways that children succeed in school.
Creating a strong parent-teacher relationship will help your child succeed and give your child’s teacher input on what they are good at, their likes and dislikes and ways to improve any negative behaviors and challenges in the classroom.
So we went over the importance….
But how do you go about talking to your child’s teacher?
First, schedule a time. The best time to speak with your child’s teacher is not when you drop them off in the morning. This is usually the worst time, as mornings can be hectic because teachers are getting ready for the day. The same goes for at the end of the day. This is not the best time either. Teachers are usually wrapping up the day, have a ton of the things to get done before they leave and/or are headed to a meeting. If you schedule a time to talk to your child’s teacher in advance, then you will have their undivided attention and the meeting will be much more productive.
Next, have your questions and concerns ready. Before you meet with them, jot down your questions and concerns. This way you have a plan on what you want to address.
During your meeting, you want to stay on topic. This is not an ‘us’ versus ‘them’ battle. Remember, teachers WANT to help your child. They want to see your child succeed too! It is okay if you do not agree on every point, as long as you can both come to a mutual understanding and know that your child’s success is what matters the most.
Ask ways that you can help your child at home. Doing things at home can help your child with any challenges that they may have.
Volunteer to help out in the classroom. Schools and teachers love parental involvement!
After your meeting, continue to keep in touch with them. You should not only talk to your child’s teacher ONCE per school year. There should be an ongoing parent-teacher relationship. You might not be BFFs with your child’s teacher (and this is okay), but it is great if you have a strong relationship.
What if I do not have the time to talk to my child’s teacher?
I know life happens. We are all busy trying to find the time to do a hundred things at once. However, communicating with your child’s teacher and attending school events is very important. If you do not have the time to meet with them personally, there are other ways that you can communicate with them (i.e. phone, notes, email). In fact, a lot of teachers prefer to communicate through email, since it hard to get away from the classroom at times.
When is the best time of the year to talk to my child’s teacher?
It is important that you start talking to your child’s teacher early in the school year, preferably at the very beginning of the year. Establishing a good rapport with them will strengthen your parent-teacher relationship, which is a vital part in your child’s school success. If your child knows that his or her parents are working together, they will understand the importance of learning in the classroom and listening to their teachers.
We all want our children to succeed. This is why the parent-teacher relationship is so important. Even if it is late in the school year and you have not reached out to your child’s teacher, it is never too late to start. And now, you have the resource to begin the next school year off on the right foot!!!