Once a school year begins, many students spend more time in the classroom with their teachers than they do at home with their parents. That's especially true in dual-income households where both parents work outside of the home.
Though many parents would love to spend more time with their children, doing so can be difficult when both parents must go to work every day. Because kids spend so much time
with their teachers, it's important for parents to work toward building a strong parent-teacher relationship. Such a relationship fosters communication, which can help a young student do his or her best in and out of the classroom, something that's a goal for parents and teachers alike. Parents interested in developing a strong relationship with their kids' teachers can take several steps to make that happen.
Meet your child's teacher at the beginning of the year. Teachers have many students come in and out of their classroom on any given day, so it can be hard for teachers to initiate a relationship with parents.
Parents have significantly fewer children to look after, so they should take the first step toward building a relationship with teachers. Introduce yourself at the onset of the school year, providing phone numbers and email addresses where you can be reached. Let the teacher know you're available for discussion any time during the school year and that you look forward to the coming school year and working with the teacher as the year progresses.
Attend "Back to School Night." School events like an open house or a "Back to School Night" are great ways to help kids grow acclimated to their school. But such events also make great opportunities for parents to learn more about their kids' teachers than they might have learned during their introductory meeting. Such events may allow teachers to explain the curriculum for the upcoming year, and teachers may feel encouraged when parents show an active interest in such events.
PRIORITIZE PARENT-TEACHER CONFERENCES
Parent-teacher conferences are a great opportunity for parents to speak to their children's teacher one-on-one. Unlike an introductory meeting or an open house at the beginning of the school year, a parent-teacher conference allows parents and teachers to specifically discuss students in private.
Teachers may provide insight into how a child is performing and behaving in the classroom, offering advice as to how to improve that performance or suggestions as to how to encourage kids to keep up the good work. Such conferences may be your only opportunity for a one-on-one, in-person discussion about your child, so make sure you're on time and that you don't miss these conferences. Your child's teacher will appreciate it, and you can use this as an opportunity to ask any questions you have about your child.
KEEP THE CHANNELS OF COMMUNICATION OPEN
If it's been awhile since you've spoken to your child's teacher, don't be afraid to email the teacher to check in or see if you can lend a helping hand. In addition, if your child really enjoys a teacher's class, don't be hesitant to share that with the teacher. Teachers appreciate compliments just like other professionals, and parents should express their gratitude to those teachers who are working hard to make learning fun for their youngsters.
Establishing a strong relationship with a child's teacher can help parents ensure students are making the most of their time in the classroom.
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