A solid parent teacher relationship is extremely important for you to develop. Remember that your child spends a large portion of the day in the classroom with their teacher. After all, both you and the teacher have your child’s best interest at heart and an open communication channel will help you share concerns and work better as a team.
How you can build an excellent parent teacher relationship
Your relationship with your child’s teacher should be based on basic human values and solid communication principles. The following 7 suggestions will help you establish an excellent and mutually beneficial partnership.
Introduce yourself to the teacher as soon as the school starts or even before, if you can. You have a voice in your child’s education and you should take an active role from the very beginning. Let the teachers know you’re looking forward to working with them as a team.
Make sure to inform the teachers about any special needs your child may have. It’s a good idea to share other information pertinent to your child, such as hobbies, interests and favorite books, but also learning techniques that seem to work best with your child. Don’t forget to mention important personal events that may reflect on the child’s behavior and interaction with others.
Establish a communication channel: As partners in the academic success of your child, you and the teacher need to communicate regularly. Everyone has a preferred method of communication, be it phone, Skype or email. Find out how the teacher prefers to be contacted and which time of the day is convenient.
When you do meet, don’t take up all their time and try to keep within the meeting timeframe. Your child is the most important thing in the world, but teachers have other students and parents that require their time and attention, too.
Stay in the loop: As the school year progresses, make it your business to keep up-to-date with the performance of your child. Find out if your child needs help in any of the subject areas.
If your child does have difficulties grasping a specific subject matter, ask the teacher about educational materials available at the school or external resources they can recommend.
You can talk to the teacher about a variety of things concerning your child, including health, its overall satisfaction with school and its academic progress. Don’t forget to inform the teaching staff about significant family events that may reflect on the behavior of your child and its academic performance.
As part of the parent-school interaction, many proactive teachers organize teacher-parent groups on social networks or send weekly newsletters and homework policies to keep parents informed. Reciprocate by communicating with the teacher. Give a suggestion or simply compliment their work.
Acknowledge the teacher’s efforts and show respect: Like the rest of us, teachers need to feel appreciated, hence it’s nice to give them some encouragement. Shaping young minds is no easy task and they will be glad to know their efforts are recognized.
Thank them for their important work, compliment their teaching style or classroom interior. Respect your child’s teachers both at school and at home. Don’t talk negatively about them in front of the child. Instead, set an example of respect that your child will follow.
Manners are important and politeness is a virtue. When you pick up your child from school, don’t talk on the phone in the teacher’s presence or turn your back. Say hello and exchange a few polite words.
Well-behaved children are favored by the teachers. Teach your child to say please and thank you, and to offer help to the teacher if needed.
Also, make sure your child is never late for school, unless there is a justified reason for it. Tardiness, especially if it happens too often, shows lack of respect for the teacher and disrupts the normal class routine.
Create an atmosphere of mutual trust: Some parents can be overly intense when their children are concerned and this can create a tense, discouraging situation for the teacher.
All children are different. So are family values. Also, the classroom is a completely different environment and sometimes teachers witness behavior you don’t get to see at home.
If parents and teachers want to create effective partnerships, a foundation of mutual trust is essential.
Parents must be confident that the teaching staff is qualified, honest, reliable and has their child’s best interests as a priority. Of course, it takes time and sustained interaction to build such trust. The more you interact with your child’s teacher, the easier it will be to trust their intentions, abilities and integrity.
Try to keep an open mind: Perhaps you think your child could never hit someone or break a microscope in biology class, but maybe that’s exactly what happened.
Differences in personality and the natural tendency of children to misbehave can result in conflict with their peers, damage to school property or a less than desirable attitude towards the teacher.
If the teacher tries to tell you something negative about your child, accept it calmly. Don’t automatically disregard the teacher and demand to speak to the principal. Remember, even if the news upsets you, it actually gives you a chance to work together with the teacher and help your child.
Teachers value parents who make an effort to really hear what is being said and have confidence in the teacher’s ability to resolve the issue.
Participate in school events: We all know the downsides of our hectic daily schedules. But even if your business takes up most of your day, you must find the time to be an interested and responsible parent.
Don’t miss parent-teacher conferences. They may seem like a waste of time but they are the right place to find out what teachers want or to get familiar with the school curriculum.
Whenever you can, attend school events. Offer to serve as a chaperon for a school trip or volunteer for some other school function requiring adult supervision. It’s important to show you’re willing to help and be a part of the school community.
And don’t forget, you are your child’s first teacher. You can greatly influence the way they feel about school, homework and education in general. The learning process doesn’t stop when your child leaves the classroom. There are various activities you and your child can engage in at home to keep the education going.
At KinderIQ, you’ll find an abundance of age-appropriate materials for your child’s unique interests and educational needs. Our comprehensive online learning program offers a wide range of interactive educational tools, designed to boost the academic potential and future achievements of your child.