We’re far enough into the new school year now; Back To School night has long passed (or is happening now depending on when your child started school) so you and your child have a pretty good feel of what is to come and what is expected this year.
Each teacher is different so what worked last year may not work this year but I encourage all parents to find the method of communication that best suits your family and your child’s teacher. Why?
Because school and home should be a partnership.
Just as you would expect the teacher to inform you of any schedule changes, field trips, attitude changes and problems while at school… parents should communicate a lot of the same changes, problems, and even triumphs with the teachers. I have yet to meet a teacher (and I was one) that didn’t want to know about changes that your child is going through at home– both good and bad. This knowledge can make a huge difference in your child’s day while at school because the teacher has an idea of how to handle behaviors and insight as to why your child’s behaviors have changed.
Here are some ways you can get more involved:
Volunteer in the Classroom
If you are able to help out in your child’s classroom, sign up! This is a great way to get to know the teacher better and to see the classroom dynamics. You can volunteer in many ways– at home, by taking group pictures at events, in the classroom, during field trips, etc.– just tell your child’s teacher what your availability is and ask how you can help.
Exchange Email Address’
Ask your child’s teacher if you can correspond via email or if they prefer another method of communication. My son’s teacher last year preferred text messages!
Be aware of what’s going on at school
Ask the teacher how your child is doing; don’t wait for parent-teacher conferences. Also, ask your child what he or she did while at school or what he or she worked on while at school.
Familiarize yourself with notices
Know where the schedule and updates are posted and check them daily. Check your child’s cubby, backpack, mailbox, etc. for notices and written communication on a daily basis.
Classroom website or blog
Learn about, suggest or help construct a classroom website or blog for your child’s classroom. This is a great way to not only communicate with the teacher but it’s an easy spot for all parents to check and communicate through.
Send a note or arrive early enough to tell the teacher if the child is having a bad day, didn’t get a good night’s rest, etc. Communicate any concerns about your child both in and out of school with the teacher. Teachers have seen a lot of different personalities so chances are, they can give you advice or suggestions if you want them.
Encourage and support your child at home
Establish a habit for homework and make it a priority. Listen to your child read, answer homework questions and help when help is needed. Doing homework with your child is a great way to see eye to eye with the teacher and how your child is progressing. You can also schedule an in-class observation to help accomplish this.