Working With Your Child’s Teacher
Now that we’re back into the routine of school, I thought I might offer a few suggestions on how to have the best relationship possible with your child’s teacher. Too often teachers complain that when they approach a parent with a concern about a child, the parent leaps to their child’s defense without really understanding the full scope of the situation, which leads to an adversarial relationship with the teacher. Not good. You and the teachers are on the same side – you both want what’s best for your child — and although you may not agree on how to get there, there’s no point in taking it personally or attacking one another. To have a productive relationship with your child’s teacher, we need to keep the big picture in mind and what’s really best for our kid, not what soothes our bruised ego or allows us to hide from the truth just that much longer.
Make sure you find an opportunity to introduce yourself to your child’s teacher, and make a point of attending as many parent-teacher meetings as possible. If possible, you might want to ask if your child can attend the meeting, too, so that s/he has a chance to see you and the teacher working together. Stay involved with the school by reading all materials that are sent home, and volunteer if you are able.
Remember that we don’t teach kids independence and responsibility by doing too much for them. Part of the learning objectives are to foster routines and responsibility, so it’s important for parents to support them at home, too. Create routines and habits at home, and teach your children how to advocate for themselves if they have a problem (“Where could you go to find the information you need?” “How could you ask your teacher about that?” “Let’s make a list of questions you have, and then tomorrow you can talk to your teacher about them – when could you do that?” “Could you send an email to your teacher asking to make a short appointment tomorrow to go over your test results and make sure you understand why you got the mark that you did?”)