The more well planned the relationship between a parent and a teacher is, the higher the student achievement will be.
Studies show students do better academically, and socially, when teachers and families plan and build positive relationships with each other. Begin to build a more personal parent-teacher relationship with the following suggestions:
Meet the Teacher
Many schools offer an open house night, back to school activities, and other events prior to the start of the school year. These events allow parents and students to come to the school, tour the classroom, and meet the teacher. Take the opportunity to attend with your student to meet the new teacher and see their classroom. Make it a brief introduction, putting a face with a name. If you need an in-depth conversation to help the teacher better understand your child, schedule a separate time for privacy.
If you miss a face-to-face meeting with the student’s teacher-emails, phone calls, and visits to the classroom are also suitable ways to communicate with teachers and keep informed about your child’s progress. Discuss appropriate times and preferred means of contact with each teacher.
Maximize Conference Times
Parent-teacher conferences are often scheduled at the time of the first report card for the school year. This is another chance to talk one-on-one about your student’s progress. The conference is another opportunity to launch a partnership between parent and teacher that will function during the remainder of the school year.
Utilize your Talents
Here comes the big “V” word again, but it’s true—one of the best ways to form a relationship with your child’s teacher is to v-o-l-u-n-t-e-e-r in their classroom. Depending upon your availability, interests, and the needs of the school, the opportunities are endless and the benefits are immeasurable.
First, take an inventory of your skills and interests. Are you fluent in Spanish; a math or technology wiz; an origami expert? Helping in the classroom can also include: crafts, changing bulletin boards, hanging artwork, reading with children in a small group, or just offer an extra set of hands for filing and organizing.
Show up for school events. Attend class performances, chaperone field trips, help with playground supervision, or help in the lunchroom. The teacher will appreciate your efforts, and it will give you a chance to see how the teacher runs the classroom and how they interact with their students.
Join a Parent Organization
Parent-teacher organizations give parents and teachers a possibility to interact outside the classroom. These events provide opportunities for you to meet and communicate with other parents, as well.
If you’re still at a loss for how you can help- just ask! Principals, teachers, or PTA members will be glad to help you think of something to match your skills with the opportunities available. Even if you have never volunteered, it’s never too late to start.
Verbally acknowledge what the teacher is doing for your child. Recognize them on their birthday, holidays, and as random acts of kindness—they always appreciate it.
Parents Team Up With Teachers
Written by Black Hills Parent