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.
1. Meet with the teacher and staff ASAP.
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.
2. Find out how the teacher wants to be reached.
3. Be respectful of the teacher’s time.
Arrive promptly for appointments and wrap things up within your allotted time. The teacher may have more parents and students waiting for her attention.
4. Look for something to compliment.
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.
5. Never talk negatively about a teacher in front of your child.
Demonstrating your respect for a teacher will set a good example for your child.
6. Show up for special events.
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.
7. Say “thank you.”
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.
8. Spread the word.
Let others know when the teacher does something special for your child. A note of appreciation shared with the principal is a nice gesture.