Partnering with your child’s teacher can have a powerful impact. When you and your child’s teacher have a good relationship and communicate regularly about his learning and attention issues, it’s easier to work together to help him succeed in school. It makes it easier for both of you to share concerns and celebrate successes.
How Working With the Teacher Can Help You
Working with your child’s teacher is one of the best ways to support his learning. You share a common goal: Providing the best educational experience for your child.
You know your child best. But partnering with the teacher can give you an even better understanding of your child. It gives you the chance to share with the teacher the concerns you may have or things you are seeing at home that she’s not seeing in the classroom.
You can share information about what’s happening at home and how your child is doing there. Your child’s teacher can fill in information about how things are going at school.
For example, if your child is frustrated by an assignment in class, the teacher may see him throw up his hands and say, “Why do we have to learn this?” You may be seeing the same frustrated reaction at home when it comes to homework.
By keeping each other informed, you can come up with consistent ways to respond to his frustration. When you’re partnering with your child’s teacher, it’s easier to create common messaging and to help your child understand the point of an assignment.
How Working With You Can Help the Teacher
Understanding your child’s learning and attention issues can help his teacher develop a more personalized approach to his learning. It can help her predict what might be difficult for your child and to determine what type of accommodations might be necessary and helpful for him.
It’s always helpful for a teacher to get more insights into your child. Because her time with him is limited, it can take a new teacher awhile to get to know your child. The information you share will help move this process along.
You can even get your child involved in this process by downloading and using a 3×3 card to introduce the teacher to three of your child’s strengths, three of his challenges, and three strategies that work for him.
Keep in mind, the more the teacher knows about your child, the better she can engage him in learning. For instance, if your child struggles with writing and she knows he’s interested in dogs, she may incorporate that interest into his writing assignment.
Watch as an expert talks about the importance of sharing your child’s strengths with teachers:
How Your Partnership With the Teacher Can Help Your Child
Building a partnership with your child’s teacher can benefit him, too. Knowing that school and home are working together to help him succeed can help him feel more confident.
Having shared expectations with the teacher and a common language around your child’s challenges can help him feel like everybody is on the same page. That can make life less confusing for him.
And if you’re working with the teacher, your child may be more willing to self-advocate and ask for help when he needs it. That helps him be a more empowered and independent learner.
How to Start Partnering With Your Child’s Teacher
If you’re unsure how to start partnering with your child’s teacher, parent-teacher conferences are a good time to get the relationship going. But if you’d like to speak to the teacher sooner, you can also call her, drop off a back-to-school letter or send an introduction email. You may also want to ask the teacher what her preferred mode of communication is.
And if you don’t know what to say, check out some conversation starters to help you get the conversation going. Find ways to talk to your child’s teacher about his specific learning and attention issues. And if your relationship with the teacher could use some work, discover ways to try to improve it.