The new school year brings a lot of “new” into your life as a parent: new morning routines, new after-school activities, new classmates to know, and new homework to worry about. Making friends with your child’s teacher might not be on your radar, but it should be!
Teaching the teachers
As parents, weknow our children better than anyone else, and we can provide their teachers with important information, perspective, and insight.Who else knows your child is taking longer than usual to complete their math homework, or hasn’t stopped talking about the upcoming science fair?
When we share information about our children’s daily lives, it helps their teachers get to know them as individuals and empowers them to adapt lessons to meet their needs. Here are three ways you can partner with your children’s teachers to support their success:
- During your initial meeting, discuss how you and your children’s teachers will communicate throughout the year — in frequency and format. Encourage their teachers to reach out to you, and contact them whenever you have questions, concerns, or even exciting news.
- Look in your children’s backpack every day, and frequently view the parent portal for assignments, grades, and important information from their teachers and school administrators.
- Actively participate at school and volunteer in the classroom when you can. This not only supports their teachers, but also gives you a “behind the scenes” look at what goes on in your children’s school.
Keep the conversation going
It’s also important to encourage your children to talk about their day and express any concerns. An open, ongoing dialogue will help you understand your children’s experiences in school and what activities they like and don’t like; help you obtain information to share with their teachers; and help keep your children safe, happy, and learning.
The great thing about developing relationships with your child’s teachers is that it helps ensure your child receives the support they need before they are struggling. And when you have to ask hard questions or raise concerns, it comes from a place of established partnership and mutual investment in the same, positive outcome. When we partner in our children’s learning, we empower teachers and ourselves to give our best to help our children grow and thrive.
Leslie Boggs, President, National PTA, [email protected]