How Parents and Teachers Working Together Benefits Children

Everyone wins when parents and faculty are allies

mother with daughter and teacher
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The best tip for school success is to make sure that parents and teachers are working together as allies. Sometimes, though, it can seem as though there’s a chalk line drawn down the middle of your child’s life.

On the home side of the line, there are all the things you know about your child, the help you give her with homework and her social development with siblings and peers. On the school side of the line, there are all the things your child’s teacher knows about her, the help she’s getting with her school work and her social development with peers.



The information on both sides can be combined to create a fuller understanding of your child. This is not only of benefit to her but also to you and her teachers.

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate!

It’s something parents hear all the time, but it bears repeating. One of the keys to parents and teachers working together is to have good communication. What may not be clear is that communication works both ways.

Certainly, there are a number of things you should tell your child’s teacher about her to help start out the year right, but the responsibility for maintaining good parent-teacher communication doesn’t lie solely on the parent.

Parent-teacher relationships only work well if a teacher not only puts in the effort to respond to your concerns and questions but also reaches out to share concerns and compliments with you. But what can you do when you think the teacher isn’t living up to her part?

Approach Issues Head-On

Dealing with a difficult teacher is hard but not as uncommon as you may think. If you feel as though your child’s teacher is being unfair or isn’t sharing as much information as she should, it’s time for a parent-teacher conference to ask some questions about what’s going on.

Just keep in mind that in order to get the most out of your time, it’s important to schedule a meeting ahead of time.

Just as the teacher catching you on the playground isn’t appropriate, neither is you pulling her aside at a school function. There’s a big difference between an open house and a parent-teacher conference!

Deal With the Tough Stuff Together

Not all kids have an easy transition to school or enjoy being at school. In fact, it’s estimated that up to 20 percent of kids show signs of school refusal behaviors at some point in their school career. And each day innumerable kids complain of being bored at school.

Some parents shoulder the blame and responsibility for their child’s problems, not talking with the school because they feel as if it’s their issue alone to deal with. Some parents get the feeling that the school is passing judgment on their parenting when they receive a phone call asking to sit down and talk about their child.

That’s not always the case. In many situations, sitting down to work out solutions together is the best way to resolve or deal with the tough stuff. Dealing with school refusal requires you and the school sharing what you know about your child and using that information to come up with a plan to get him back into the classroom.



Likewise, exploring the reasons your child might be bored at school is best done together. Hearing what your child is saying at home is helpful to the school, and knowing what’s being seen and said in the classroom gives you some context to use when hearing your child’s complaints.

Consider Each Other’s Perspective

Building partnerships between parents and teachers relies on teachers listening to parents and parents taking the time to understand where teachers are coming from. Sometimes parents and teachers both are guilty of dismissing the other’s viewpoint. ​

As a parent, the more dismissed you feel, the less likely you are to participate in your child’s education. As a teacher, the less you feel like you’re being heard, the more likely you are to stop communicating with a parent.

Things that may seem confrontational, like an outline of what kind of homework help a teacher wants from a parent or a parent outlining what the school needs to do to accommodate a child’s peanut allergy, aren’t always as demanding as they appear. The end goal is the same for both parent and school: helping kids be responsible, safe and successful.   

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