Developing A Relationship With Your Child’s Teachers And School

Posted by: Asa Don Brown on June 27, 2011 2:17 pm

Parental involvement is the key ingredient to developing and maintaining good rapport within your child’s academic endeavors.  As parents, being involved can be a balancing act, because voicing too many opinions can be seen as overbearing. Yet, avoiding voicing your desires or opinions can be a detriment to the needs of your child.  We must remember that teachers are people too.  They have feelings, emotions, and personal needs, thus it is important to show your child’s teachers respect and dignity. 

In many circumstances teachers are being overworked, underpaid, and overburdened by their classroom sizes.   Schools are being forced to cut costs and reduce their financial obligations. The financial burdens play a role in the lives of the parents, teachers, school administrations, and the individual student.

DEVELOPING A PARENT TEACHER RELATIONSHIP

Honest communication and advocacy are the best policy for developing a healthy relationship.  You must begin by developing a good relationship with your child’s teacher.  Get to know the school administration and its staff. It is vitally important that all lines of communication are left open and a flow of information occurs between you and the school. 

Your involvement in the academic process will ensure that your child’s needs are met.

It is essential that you develop a partnership between you and your child’s teachers.  Whether entering high school, junior high, or grade school, it is prudent that you not only introduce yourself to your child’s teachers, but that you inform them of your willingness to be a part of your child’s academic career. 

 BE CREATIVE WITH YOUR COMMUNICATIONS

Consider developing a daily forum with which you communicate.  For younger children, you might consider offering to send a daily journal which can offer insights into the child’s overall performance; homework plans; concerns; behavioral issues;  achievements; goals; successes; and any other matter that may need addressing between you, your child, and their teacher.   For older children, requesting a monthly parent – teacher conference can prove a gateway into your child’s academic life. 

ENCOURAGE YOUR SCHOOL TO BE RESOURCEFUL

We are a society burdened by many avenues of life, therefore, balancing our time can be a real juggling act.   Consider the many different communicative devices that have been developed such as: texting, emails, cell phones, faxing, and so forth to deliver your parental communications.  As parents, we need to remember to be respectful,  don’t allow yourself to bombard your child’s teacher, by overwhelming them with tons of communication. 

WHAT ARE THE MODERN TECHNOLOGICAL BENEFITS AVAILABLE FOR SCHOOLS?

In our modern society, technologies are limitless, schools can offer group mail outs, online grading systems, newsletters, reports, lunch and breakfast menus, online forms and programs, and video technologies. 

BE PROACTIVE PARENTS

Do not wait for your teachers to set up a parent-teacher conference. 

Attend groups that advocate for your children’s rights:  Parent Teacher Associations (PTA); Parent Advisory Councils (PAC).  Being an active member and participant will allow you to voice your concerns; questions; and desires, not only for your child, but for the system itself.  Your child will benefit from your willingness to participate in their school.  For many children, a parent that is actively participating in their lives will reinforce their overall sense of self.

Ask about activities that can help foster your child’s learning performance.  For younger children, it may be practicing numbers, letters, reading, writing, and arithmetic. Do not be afraid to request help if you are uncertain about your child’s assignments.

Request to volunteer in your child’s school.  As a parent you can become a vital member of the school by reading to children, or having them read unto you.  Helping children learn to use their school’s library, resource centers, computer labs, and support staff to engage the children in their school.  Offer to help your school by volunteering your time. Your time can be used to do such things as, monitoring the cafeteria, the playground, hallways, and being a role model in the students. Parental assistance can prove a benefit to the school and the teachers, by allowing the teacher to focus their time and energy on more prudent academic needs. 

ARRANGE A MEETING WITH THE SCHOOL COUNSELOR AND/OR PSYCHOLOGISTS

Children are more inclined to seek out help from their school counselor or school psychologist, if they know that this individual is a safe, caring, and supportive individual.   

THE DO’S AND DON’TS 

Do not delay meetings when your child’s behaviors, performance, attitudes, or academic performance are appearing to be negatively affected. 

Consider academic, achievement, and placement testing when your child appears to be falling behind or is not being challenged enough in their academic environment. 

Know your “rights” as a parent. If your school is encouraging your child to be placed into a special education program, know that you have a right to challenge such a placement.  Schools should provide you as a parent access to your bill of rights.  Do not hesitate to request a copy of such a document if you have concerns about your child or the school.  

Ask to review your child’s curriculum.   Having a clear understanding of their academic goals, can help you engage your child’s needs. 

PARENTS AND TEACHERS

Developing a relationship with your child’s teachers can have positive implications.  Your child’s academic career will become more personalized and successful with the cooperation of the teachers and the parents.




*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

11 comments on “Developing A Relationship With Your Child’s Teachers And School”

  1. Dear Jeanette,

    I am doing very well, thank you for asking. I agree that children should be raised with hope and a “good start in life.” It can be taxing on a child who is raised in a home or an environment that is non-supportive or has a negative atmosphere. Therefore, it is vitally important that we offer children a home filled with unconditional love, affection, support, and encouragement.

    I not only appreciate your review of this article, but for your thoughtful comments.

    May you have a blessed day.

    Warm Regards,

    Dr. Asa Don Brown

  2. jeanette says:

    Hi Asa, how are you. I think your right about children being brought up in a healthy atmosphere. If they aren’t brought up right they just about don’t have a good future to look for. Maybe i’m really off course about what I’m writing. without a good start in life it just about makes it impossible to have a well adjusted future.

  3. Dear Tracy,

    I am appreciative of your thoughtful feedback. I totally agree that open communication must occur between the parent and the student’s teachers. I am pleased to know that this article made a difference in your frame of reference to the never ending saga of parent teacher relationships. We must remember that neither the parent nor the teacher are perfect, therefore, we should all be seeking to learn and to listen when considering the needs of our children.

    Warm Regards,

    Dr. Asa Don Brown

  4. Julia says:

    I found the article to be mentally stimulating and challenging. I thank you Dr. Brown for posing a question that is desperately needed.

    1. Dear Julia

      Thank you for your very kind review and remarks. I am thankful that my articles have made such a profound impact in your life.

      May my future articles prove equally as beneficial.

      Warmest of Thoughts,

      Dr. Asa Don Brown

  5. Tracy Pitt says:

    Wonderful article! You have clearly communicated both the philosophy and practicality of your relationship with those who educate your children. It is critical to your child’s development and success that you are involved. Too often is the case that children are sent away for their education, and parents abdicate their role as active participants.
    As a former teacher, I would like to add a special note about communication. My mother once told me that anything in writing is usually received more harshly than something spoken in person. I have seen many times a written note or text that caused adversity in the relationship between parents and teachers. Be careful about written communication because it lacks the vocal inflection and body language and could be misinterpreted. Secondly, remember that we as parents see our children in a different setting than teachers do. A child who only has one sibling is going to exhibit different behaviors in a room full of his peers. So don’t be surprised when the teacher describes a behavior you as a parent haven’t seen. While I believe we as parents should know our children best, we don’t always know how they will react in every situation.
    Thank you for making children a priority and for sharing such wisdom with us as parents.

    1. Dear Tracy,

      I am sincerely appreciative of your review of this most prudent article. I wholeheartedly agree with your statement “it is critical to your child’s development and success that you are involved.” I am also appreciative of your take concerning the written word and communication. There is no doubt that the written word can be easily misinterpreted. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance that both the teacher and the parent seek clarification for any misunderstandings, misinterpretations, or queries. Furthermore, I also value your emphasis of vocal communication, because it leaves little room for misinterpretation. However, as a therapist, I can assure you even the spoken word can frequently be misinterpreted, so it is of equal importance that we seek clarification in all forms of communication.

      Tracy, you have made some very profound points in your review. I thank you for your time and feedback.

      May my future articles prove a positive force in your life.

      Warmest of Thoughts,

      Dr. Asa Don Brown

  6. Marcie says:

    Dr. Brown articulates some very good points and suggestions in his article. As a teacher and a parent I am able to see both sides of the picture and fully agree that good open communication and involvement is vital for our children’s success. There are many ways to be involved in your child’s education, don’t hesitate to make the first step.

    1. Dear Marcie,

      I am appreciative of your time and willingness to review my article. I agree, there are a number of ways with which you can be involved with your child, his or her educational pursuits, and the school with which they attend. It is important that children feel supported throughout his or her educational pursuits.

      Warm Regards,

      Dr. Asa Don Brown

  7. Tracy says:

    Thank you Dr Brown for your inspiring article. Our children’s education is their, and our, future. Only with open communication with the teachers and schools will we truly know how our children are accomplishing their goals. Your ideas and suggestions are thought provoking and inspiring. One of the first things I plan to do next year as my daughter begins the second grade is ask her teacher for an email address that we will be able to communicate on. Then on a regular basis, such as every couple of weeks I will make a point to inquire about my daughter’s successes and challenges. You have provided me with a means to be better involved in my daughter’s academic career.

    Thank you again…

    Tracy

    1. Dear Tracy,

      I am appreciative of your thoughtful feedback. I totally agree that open communication must occur between the parent and the student’s teachers. I am pleased to know that this article made a difference in your frame of reference to the never ending saga of parent teacher relationships. We must remember that neither the parent nor the teacher are perfect, therefore, we should all be seeking to learn and to listen when considering the needs of our children.

      Warm Regards,

      Dr. Asa Don Brown

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