Making a Great Parent Teacher Relationship

Open communication with your child's teacher will help you be involved in your child's education. nano vi Getty Images

Taking steps to develop a good relationship with your child's teacher is an important part of supporting your child's education.  Your child will reap the benefits from you knowing what is happening at their school.  

Teachers know that a good relationship with a child's parent will increase the home to school connection, and strengthen the learning connections for your child. Here are a few tips for getting to know your child's teacher:

Start Early, or Start Right Now

The best time to open up the lines of communication between you and your child's new teacher is once you know who the new teacher is. This will help to make sure that the teacher is able to contact you right away. Meeting the teacher early will make it easier if you have any concerns about your child at school in the future.  

Often, the school or the teachers will send out a notice letting you know about open houses or family nights for you to come and meet your child's teachers. These events are great opportunities - your child's teacher will have a special time set aside just for meeting with parents, and will be ready to explain how their classroom works and the best way to contact them in the future.

These events will also give you the chance to meet the other student's parents and families who share the same teachers. This networking opportunity will give you a bigger window into your child's world.

Knowing what your child's day is like at school shows your interest and support of your child's education.

If it is later in the school year and you missed out on these early opportunities, start now. The benefits of a parent-teacher relationship can still benefit your family for the remainder of the school year.

Find what works for both of your schedules.  

Your child's teacher already has a good idea that many families have only one parent in the household, or that both parents work outside the home. Teachers know that these busy schedules can sometimes make attending school functions like Open House or even Parent Teacher Conferences impossible. If you truly cannot make it to these open times, let your child's teacher know and  ask if you can meet or talk at another time. If you know you will be late to an event, let the school or teacher know in advance you cannot be there on time. Ask if it is better for you to arrive late or schedule another time to talk.  

Your child's teacher will appreciate the effort that you are making to do your best to be involved with your child's school.  

Find the best way to communicate - for both of you.  

Ask to find out if your child's teacher prefer e-mail to telephone calls. Would the teacher rather send home a note in your child's backpack? Does your child's teacher send out a regular newsletter, and where can you find it?

With the technology options available today, you may find the easiest method of communication is on a social media platform such as Facebook or Edmodo. In other cases, the online grade systems used by your child's school may email out notices from the teacher.  

Find out what methods your child's teacher uses, and then make sure it is something that you can access regularly. If the teacher's preferred method is internet based and you do not have regular internet access, let the teacher know. They may be able to send home a paper copy of all internet newsletters.

Be Sure to Follow Up,  Promptly 

Check for messages regularly, and if you must respond, be sure to respond quickly. Academic school years go by fast. If your child's teacher has a concern or question, waiting more than a day or two to respond can eat up a valuable portion of time quickly. If you have questions about a homework assignment, asking early will give your child more time to finish the assignment with the right information.  

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