Do you ever wonder what your child is doing when they are in school all day? One of the best ways to get ahead on your child’s education is to establish strong parent-teacher communication.
Every year, your child begins a new grade level and gets assigned a new teacher. While it’s important for your child to be able to learn and interact with teachers and their different teaching methods, it also means that as a parent, it’s just as important for you to communicate and get to know their new teacher as well. When you stop to think that your child is learning from someone and spends almost 8 hours of their day with that person, you want to know who they are and be able to openly communicate with them, right? It’s important to create a relationship with your child’s teacher that is positive, cooperative and open. And thankfully, most teachers feel that way too. Not only do teachers want what is best for your child as far as education goes, they also want to know that their home life is supporting that same want as well. Communication, regardless of if it happens at the beginning of the year, the middle of the year, or at random intervals throughout, is extremely important.
Effective Ways to Communicate with Your Child’s Teacher
Meet the teacher early in the school year
Attend “Welcome” nights at your school to meet your child’s teacher face to face. Shake their hand, and introduce yourself and let them know whose Mom you are. A face-to-face intro can go a long way in effective communication. From that moment on, your child’s teacher knows who you are, what you look like, and also knows that you are taking an active interest in your child’s education. You’ve just successfully opened up the lines of communication by one simple gesture.
Ask the teacher how they prefer to communicate.
Although you may personally prefer email, that may not be the most convenient form of communication for the teacher. The goal of establishing a strong communication line with your child’s teacher is so that questions/answers/comments can be sent and received in the most efficient and effective way possible. If you send an email and that teacher never checks the email, it’s a pointless way to spend your time trying to communicate. Once you give the teacher the option of how they prefer to communicate, respect their answer and use that as the way that you reach out to them.
Let them know you strongly value communication
Explain to them why communication is so important to you. The teacher may be caught off guard by you wanting to have a strong line of communication with them because honestly, not all parents are that way. Explain your reasoning behind it so that the teacher knows you like to be in the know to be able to use that information to build and grow communication skills with your child at home. You like to know school trips that they take, experiments going on in science, and happenings in the classroom so you can then talk to your child about those as well when they arrive home at the end of their day.
Don’t leave anything out
Let the teacher know that you want to hear the good, the bad, and the ugly. While you want to know when your child is having an awesome classroom experience, it’s also just as important to be contacted when something less than stellar may be going on as well. When your child’s teacher communicates these things to you, it’s important to accept, address and understand the need for resolution. Establishing an effective line of communication with your child’s teacher is important, and when that teacher feels as though there is something important that needs to be communicated with you, it’s extremely important to respond and act accordingly.
Prep for conferences
Make certain that you are utilizing your time wisely with your child’s teacher at Parent-Teacher Conferences. What better way to follow-up with him/her about any questions or concerns that you may have? If you have something that you want to talk about, make certain to write it down so you don’t forget about it before the meeting.
With your child spending the majority of their days at school, it’s important to create a bond and a trust with their teacher to be able to communicate on how their days are going. Take the time and the effort to establish a good rapport with your child’s teacher and relax knowing that your child is in good hands with an education expert. And if you do have questions or concerns, just ask!\