Each year, parents entrust their children into the hands of teachers for the greater part of each school day. Children will begin to develop relationships with their teachers from the first day and these relationships will grow as the year progresses.
“As parents, it is essential that we, too, begin developing a healthy relationship with our children’s teachers. Studies have shown that children whose teachers and parents enjoyed solid, trusting, synergetic relationships were significantly more likely to make positive progress throughout the year,” said Cindy Glass, director and co-founder of Step Up Education Centres.
Glass gives the following tips to consider on how to create and sustain a healthy relationship with your child’s teacher:
Communication is key
Take a moment to meet your child’s teacher. This is, of course, easier done in the younger grades as most often, a younger child will have one main teacher. It will be a lot easier to meet and connect with your older child’s teachers if you make the effort to attend the teacher-parent information evenings that are offered at their school in the beginning of the academic year. Teachers will use these meetings to explain their expectations of schoolchildren and their parents. Remember, teachers will not know what your expectations are unless you communicate these.
See yourself in partnership with the teacher in your child’s learning
You and your child’s teacher have a common goal – the personal and academic development of your child. Keep an open mind and always remember that the best interests of your child need to be the core focus of any conversation.
Remember that your child’s teacher is as human as you are
This means that mistakes are possible and that things may go wrong from time to time. Misunderstandings and challenges can severely damage a teacher-parent relationship if not handled swiftly and correctly. Negative teacher-bashing comments are a sure way to build walls instead of keeping the lines of communication open.
Try and get involved in assisting with school activities
This is not always possible for many working parents, but, there may be the rare occasion that an opportunity presents itself to be actively present in supporting the teacher and the school.
“Creating strong inter-personal relationships can take time,” Glass explained. “How we choose to react to challenges and negative situations in a school setting will influence the outcomes of these essential relationships. Never forget that it takes a village to raise a child. Choose to enjoy a positive working relationship with your child’s teacher this year and you will be creating a happier learning experience for all.”