Parent teacher relationships are perhaps more important now than ever before. As the landscape of learning continues to evolve, so does the traditional parent teacher interaction. It’s important to always keep in mind that you (the parent) are your child’s greatest teacher, and therefore your collaboration with their school teacher is critical to helping them achieve their full potential.
Just like with any relationship, good communication is the key to success. Building a positive relationship with open lines of communication can become second nature with a few simple pointers.
Embrace The Fact That No Child Is Perfect
There’s no doubt that you love your child but that deep love can make it difficult to acknowledge your child’s imperfections at times. The reality is that all of us have imperfections. It’s human nature and it’s part of what makes us all unique. As a parent, you must be honest with yourself and your child and acknowledge that they make ethical or moral mistakes or have behavioral challenges. Regardless of what they are exhibiting, just know that it’s part of the process of social-emotional growth. If your child’s teacher brings attention to any of these imperfections, don’t take offense. Acknowledge it, accept it, embrace it, and collaborate to come up with solutions to help your child improve.
Seize Opportunities To Provide Positive Feedback
Have you ever received a note sent home from school telling you what an incredible job your child did that day? Teachers benefit from the same acknowledgement. If your child loved a particular lesson, had a breakthrough, or expressed their excitement over something a teacher did, send that teacher a little note letting them know. It’s simple but this small gesture bridges the gap between school and home and lets your child’s teacher know that they’re making an impact.
Acknowledge That You Have Common Goals
You deeply care about your child’s success and you want them to excel as best they can. Their teacher feels exactly the same way. That’s why they became an educator, afterall! When you realize and embrace the fact that you and the teacher are both working towards a common goal, you can capitalize on that teamwork mentality and help your child reach their full potential day after day.
Clearly Communicate Your Wants And Needs
The majority of communication isn’t what you say, but how the other person perceives it. When you contact your child’s teacher, be sure that your message is coming through clearly. Make sure the teacher clearly knows what information you’re wanting. When you have concerns, frame the conversation in ways that “we” can all work together to help. Try to understand the situation from all sides. Follow up important conversations with an email summarizing what the messages were that you received and what you gained from it. This gives everyone one more chance to reflect and clarify.
Work To Achieve Resolutions With The Teacher First
Having questions or concerns happens from time to time. The good news is that the majority of issues can be resolved with the teacher without the need to go higher in the school’s chain of command. Remember, you both have common goals and care for your child. It’s best practice to always try to resolve any issues with your child’s teacher first because they have the most influence in their daily interactions and can offer the most valuable insight.
Good communication is built day after day with each day adding a little more to strengthen the bonds. Keeping open lines of communication enables you and your child’s teacher to become a united front with the sole purpose of empowering your child to be the best version of themselves possible.