By Geri Coleman Tucker
Developing a good relationship with your child’s teacher will make it easier for you to share concerns and work together to help your child succeed. Here are some tips for building a partnership.
Consider meeting even before the school year starts, if possible. If your child has an IEP, give the teacher a copy of it. Share other information—like hobbies, interests and important family events—that will help your teacher get to know your child.
Share email addresses and phone numbers. Explore tips you can use when emailing with teachers and sentence starters you can use when you talk.
Arrive promptly for appointments and wrap things up within your allotted time. The teacher may have more parents and students waiting for her attention.
If you’re meeting in the classroom, look for word walls, reference charts or displays of students’ artwork or school work that you can compliment. Teachers like to see that you notice their efforts. If you’re meeting in the guidance office or other location, start things off with a positive statement, like something you’ve noticed about the teacher’s classroom or teaching style.
Demonstrating your respect for a teacher will set a good example for your child.
Whenever possible, show up for back-to-school night and other events. This demonstrates that you’re part of the school community. Try to chaperone a field trip and volunteer in other ways too.
Express appreciation for the big—and little—things the teacher does for your child. Cards, thank-you notes, even small gifts can go a long way toward building positive relationships with the teacher, school aides and other staff.
Let others know when the teacher does something special for your child. A note of appreciation shared with the principal is a nice gesture.
Want to thank teachers or specialists for going the extra mile to help your child? Skip the thank-you mug and scented soap! Instead, consider these simple ideas to show you appreciate their dedication and skill.
Sometimes it’s not what you say but how you say it. If you want to effectively communicate with your child’s teacher, try these sentence starters.
Geri Coleman Tucker is a freelance writer and editor and a former deputy managing editor for USA Today.
Kristen L. Hodnett, M.S.Ed., is a clinical professor in the department of special education at Hunter College in New York City.
There was an error posting your reply.
Thanks for being a part of the Understood Community. Your comment will appear shortly, once it’s been reviewed.
*Please confirm you are not a robot.
How Often Is Too Often to Contact My Child’s Teacher?
7 Tips for Improving Your Relationship With Your Child’s Teacher
9 Great Ways to Thank Your Child’s Teachers
Download: 3×3 Card to Help Teachers Get to Know Your Child
7 Tips for Talking to Your Child’s Teacher About Sensory Processing Issues
5 Conversation Starters for Discussing Supports and Services With Teachers
Find out how you can prepare your child for special education testing.
Explore unique IEP and 504 plan accommodations gathered from our community.
Expert Jamie Martin weighs in on home assistant devices like Google Home and Amazon Echo.
Find out how occupational therapy can help your child and how to get it from your school.
Sign up for weekly emails with helpful resources for you and your family.
This email is already subscribed to Understood newsletters. If you haven't been receiving anything, add email@example.com to your safe-senders list.
Name must have no more than 50 characters. Email address must be valid. Email message must have no more than 140 characters and cannot include the < > / \ special characters. Please fill out all fields and complete the reCAPTCHA to send a message.
*Please confirm you are not a robot.
Don’t worry—we saved what you wrote.
Sign up to get personalized recommendations and connect with parents and experts in our community.
Only members can view and participate in conversations.
Child’s nickname is private and only you can see it.