There’s only a few weeks left of summer and we’re all starting to prepare for back-to-school! Here are a few tips to help you create a positive partnership with your child’s teacher that will foster the best possible learning environment in the upcoming school year.
Don’t Play the Blame Game
Most kids figure out really quickly whether they can get away with turning their parents against their teacher so their failures will be blamed on the teacher instead of the child. If your child gets a bad grade or is struggling in school, don’t immediately blame the teacher, it’s your child’s responsibility to do what it takes to perform up to their teacher’s standards.
I have friends who are teachers and their biggest complaint about teaching is that parents don’t support their efforts to hop their child. The parents fight the teacher every step of the way if their child is struggling instead of working with the teacher to help their child.
What Can You Do to Establish a Positive Relationship with Your Child’s Teacher?
Develop a relationship – The best thing you can do is to develop a positive relationship with your child’s teacher(s) early on in the year. Many schools have a day in the summer when you can come meet the teachers or have an open house in the first few weeks on school. Make sure to warmly greet the teacher, offer your personal information such a phone number and e-mail, advise them that you want to support them any way you can. Let them know you want to remain in contact throughout the year. Ask specifically where you can sign up for volunteer opportunities because those are a great way to get to know the teachers, administration, and kids. Make sure you are smiling and warm and friendly. Sometimes I cannot believe how rude parents are to the teachers during these events!
Be an ally – Throughout the year, look to your child’s teacher as an ally, working together to educate your child. If the teacher contacts you will a problem concerning your child, don’t immediately get defensive. Think of ways to correct the problem. Don’t be the parents who says, “Not MY kid. MY kid would never do that!” I’ll tell you right now, if you’re the parent that always says that, you have one of the worst behaved kids and everyone knows it but you.
Give them tips – Make sure the teacher understands your child. They have a bunch of kids and it takes months for them to figure out what works with which kids. Give them a clue early on will help them get the most out of your child. I always let teachers and coaches know how to get to my son. These are the things I tell my son’s teachers:
- My son doesn’t respond to yelling or harsh criticism in a classroom or on a court. He freezes and can’t perform. If you want him to do well in school, positive coaching is the way to go. “Good job Tyler, now can you do the next one?”
- My son is also competitive so he responds to challenges, “Do you think you can beat your last scores?” or “Let’s see who can get the highest score” will really get him excited to learn.
- My son can be a class clown. He doesn’t care if he gets lunch detentions. He cares if the teacher threatens to call me at home. If he’s misbehaving, a threat to call home will stop him in his tracks.
- My son has vision problems and needs to be in the front of the classroom. He also has trouble with plotting points on graphs because of his vision.
Focus on the positive – Make sure to focus on the positive. Teachers are people. They have good qualities and bad qualities. Focus on the good qualities and teach your child to take what they can from the good that their teachers have to offer. Teach them how to deal with some of their bad qualities in a positive way.
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