Parents play an important role in championing their children to do their best in school. A vital way to show your kids how important you feel a good education involves building a connection with your children’s teachers.
Let’s look at several tips on partnering with and supporting your child’s teacher and maintaining open lines of communication:
- Attend Back-To-School Night. An article on KidsHealth.org shares, “Kids do better in school when parents are involved in their academic lives. Attending back-to-school night at is a great way to get to know your child's teacher and his or her expectations.” Attending back-to-school night will also help you find out what your child will be learning during the school year.
- Reach out and introduce yourself to your child’s teacher(s). This may be possible during the Back to School night or may work better at another time. You can share a little about what you admire about your son or daughter. You might also share what you know engages your child or sparks his or her interest. You might also ask for ideas on how you can support your child’s learning and academic success at home.
- Invite input if the teacher is concerned. Teachers really care about the children they teach. They are in a unique position to regularly observe your children and any struggles they may have. Some parents have trouble hearing constructive input from others, which can cause teachers to hesitate to reach out to you about issues your child is facing. Invite your child’s teacher to inform you of any concerns they may have with your child’s learning or behavior.
- Prepare for and participate in the Parent-Teacher Conferences. Parent-Teacher conferences are a good opportunity to strengthen the partnership with your child’s teacher. Be sure to always arrive on time for the conference and come prepared with questions. This is a great time to hear of progress your child is making, address any concerns, and seek suggestions for ways to encourage your child to do his or her best.
- Ask if there is anything you can do to help. Teachers work long hours between the demands of planning and preparing for lessons, teaching classes, creating and grading assignments, papers and exams, plus many administration tasks. While they may not take you up on it, they would very much appreciate the offer of help – in and out of regular school hours. Even the busiest of parents can find ways to plan a single event, volunteer for an outing, or organize a special project from home.
- Thank them for what they do. Teachers work very hard for their students. Acknowledging the time and effort they have put into helping your child is a great way to maintain a positive relationship with them.