The parent-teacher partnership is essential to helping children get the most out of their academic experience.
Here is how to make sure you make an effective team for your child.
Teachers are tasked with imparting lessons and skills children will carry throughout their lives. However, education must be a team effort. You are as much a part of a child’s academic journey as anyone at school. By partnering with your child’s teachers, you can make a difference in his or her academic success. Here are five ways to build a better relationship with your child’s teachers.
Why parent involvement matters
We know that parental involvement is essential in a child’s education. Countless studies have linked parental involvement with students who earn better grades, have higher graduation rates and are more likely to attend college or other types of education after high school.
Your involvement is needed when your children get older, too. While we might naturally focus on young children, middle and high school-aged students need just as much guidance and support.
So, how can you partner with your child’s teacher to form a team that can help build success?
Be involved from the first day
The beginning of the school year is the best time to start building a relationship with your child’s teachers. It gives you a chance to let teachers know more about your child’s learning style and specific issues. You can also let them know about your child’s strengths and weaknesses, personality traits, and your own vision for his or her future.
The communication should not end after the first couple of weeks, either. Keep teachers informed about anything that might impact your child’s education.
5 tips for building better relationships with teachers
1. Communication, communication, communication
Not surprisingly, the key to building a parent-teacher relationship is good communication. It is not so different from any other relationship. Communication helps cultivate trust and respect. This is essential, especially if you hope to resolve issues and problems that arise during the year.
2. Learn more about the education program and philosophy
Every school has a different focus or philosophy when it comes to academics. They have different goals and ways to judge student achievement. You must arm yourself with as much information as possible about the school’s curriculum and teaching philosophy.
Here are some ways to learn more about the curriculum:
- Attend curriculum nights.
- Schedule a one-on-one parent-teacher conference.
- Read all of the school’s printed materials as well as information on the website, classroom newsletters, weekly planning forms, and daily experience sheets.
- Ask questions to clarify anything you might not understand. Seek answers before making assumptions.
- Attend social events at the school as they can allow you to get to know teachers in a more relaxed setting.
3. Communicate verbally, not just via messages
We all lead busy lives. When time is at a premium, it is tempting to dash off a quick email whenever issues arise. While emails can be more convenient in some cases, they pose real challenges when it comes to effective communication.
Since we cannot hear the tone, it is all too easy to read something into a message that was never intended. It is also difficult to tackle complicated problems in a chain of emails. A phone call or conversation can go a long way to resolving conflicts or simply getting your questions answered.
4. Tackle issues right away
Make contact as soon as you have a problem. Waiting allows frustration to build, making it more likely for the conversation to become heated when you finally do broach the subject. Once strong emotions are triggered, it is difficult to have any type of meaningful discussion. Even small problems can boil over if not resolved in a timely manner.
5. Practice follow-through
This rule can be applied to parents and teachers. For trust to build, both parties must believe that the other will do what he or she promised. Failing to follow-through results in frustration for everyone.
Parental involvement can help assure a successful year for your child. We encourage you to start building those relationships as soon as possible. Do not hesitate to make an appointment to speak with teachers or administrators.