5 Tips for Strengthening Parent-Teacher Relationships
As you’re getting your child ready or settled in for the new school year, you may soon realize how the back-to-school season isn’t just for youngsters but for parents too! This is especially the case as you prepare to meet and build a relationship with your child’s new teachers this year. Any working relationship requires some finesse in navigating, so we asked the Edmentum team, many of whom are former teachers, for any tips that would be helpful for strengthening parent-teacher relationships. In this blog, we’ve summarized some of their responses.
1. Stay in touch regularly
Communication is key when it comes to helping your child succeed. You and your child’s teacher are partners in your child’s education, and you can be a powerful team when you work together. Be sure to attend parent-teacher conferences to stay up to date on your child’s progress at school. Offering information that may be useful to the teacher will also help with instruction, such as anything that’s going on at home or any other changes that you noticed as a parent, as there may be many external factors in your child’s life that could affect his or her learning.
2. Ask questions
There are no stupid questions! Teachers appreciate your involvement and eagerness to understand, so be sure to lay out whatever issues or questions you may have. If you’re not sure about something your child has shared with you, look to clarifying it with their teacher, as there may be times your child misheard or misunderstood something they said. Sending a quick email to your child’s teacher can definitely help clear the air.
3. Ask how to support the teacher
Everyone knows that teachers do a lot. They’re trying to teach and care for many students who are at many different levels of learning all at once; they’re trying to make their lessons fun, creative, and engaging, and they’re having to play multiple roles. Teachers do what they do because they’re passionate about it, but they could use a little help here and there. Reaching out to offer help with anything can really support and encourage your child’s teacher. Even little things like volunteering time in the classroom or helping tidy and organize classroom materials can make a big difference.
4. Be willing to set emotions aside
Sometimes, it’s difficult for parents to receive critical feedback about their child and not take it as a personal reflection of themselves or their parenting. But, again, your child’s teacher is your ally and partner in shaping your child’s growth, and the teacher can provide some valuable insight into or tips for helping your child academically. Reserve your judgment when listening to your child’s teacher, and be willing to hear an alternative point of view about your child. Keep in mind that it’s also difficult for your child’s teacher to bring up things! Help make the process easier for teachers by listening attentively and patiently to their feedback.
5. Offer grace
Although teaching is an incredibly rewarding job, it’s also incredibly challenging. Extend some grace to your child’s teachers for mistakes made or things overlooked. Be understanding if your child’s teacher is not that perfect teacher who can anticipate every need and issue that comes up in the classroom. Teachers will appreciate your compassion!
Interested in learning more about how you can support your child with their virtual learning? Take a look at these five things parents and caregivers can do to support students in virtual courses.
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