Building a Strong Parent-Teacher Relationship
Mighty Mommy shares her 6 expert tips for creating a great relationship with your child’s teacher.
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My kids have been back to school for a month now. And after shepherding 8 kids through school (my eldest is now a college sophomore), I firmly believe that building a good relationship with your child’s teacher is the key to helping your child do their best, and have a good experience at school.
That's why today, Mighty Mommy shares 6 ways to create a great relationship with your child’s teacher.
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Tip #1: Introduce Yourself Early On
Teachers have many students come in and out of their classroom on any given day, so it can be hard for them to initiate a relationship with parents other than through a group email or generic back-to-school letter. Parents are busy as well, but with your child’s best school experience at stake, take some time early on in the school year to introduce yourself to your child’s teacher(s).
Most schools have Open House or Parent Night which you should make it a point to attend. Keeping in mind that the teacher will be meeting well over 25 parents at those events, come prepared with an enthusiastic greeting and a welcoming notecard that lists you and your spouse or partner’s names, phone numbers, emails, and a friendly note saying how you and your child are excited for the new learning year ahead.
If you have a special talent that might be of interest to your child’s classroom, mention that as well. If you can’t attend the Open House, mail the teacher the note card or send it into school with your child. By reaching out and sharing this information, it shows that you’re invested in the school year.
Tip #2: Ask Questions
Don’t be afraid to ask questions and communicate with your child’s teacher(s) especially if you notice your child’s interest has piqued in a new subject or just the opposite, if he’s starting to really struggle with homework or talk negatively about a particular subject.
Teachers have many students come in and out of their classroom on any given day, so it can be hard for them to initiate a relationship with parents other than through a group email or generic back-to-school letter.
For example, if your son comes home on a regular basis asking lots of questions about formulating his own scientific experiments and asks you to provide him with baking soda, toothpicks, or empty juice bottles, drop his teacher a quick email saying “Michael is so interested in concocting his own experiments these days. Is this a result of the science curriculum right now?” This lets the teacher know that your son is coming home excited about what he’s learning and it helps his teachers understand what sort of feedback you’re interested in receiving.
Tip #3: Involve Your Child in the Relationship
One of the most important things that parents can do to build a strong relationship with their child’s teacher is including the child, particularly if the child is in middle school and above. Make sure that not only you know what is going on with your child’s educational experience, but the child knows as well. When your child is included in decisions and conversations that affect them directly, they feel an ownership and a responsibility for their progress.
Many schools are now scheduling teacher meetings that include your child. Make it clear to both the teacher and your child that their thoughts and opinions are important. That open communication will help to foster a trusted relationship where everyone is on the same page.
Things get trickier once your child gets to middle and high school. Here's why...