Find time to share your experiences with school and how that has shaped your perception about parent teacher relationships. Talk about how you think schools differ from when or where you attended.
- Discuss with the teacher what you think are the most important challenges facing schools in your community and what strengths your school and community have to meet these challenges?
- Communicate with your child’s teacher(s) early and often. Send emails or handwritten notes. If you prefer direct contact, establish a regular time to visit or call the teacher to set up a time that works for you and the teacher. If something happens in the home that may affect classroom performance, let the teacher know immediately.
- Actively participate in parent-teacher conferences. For example, come prepared with a set of questions, comments, and if necessary, concerns.
- If your schedule permits, volunteer to spend time in the classroom or chaperone class trips. For parents of older students, come to school-wide events. Also, find out how to better support learning in the home.
- Understand that since teachers cannot always communicate during the school day, you may not get as an immediate response as you do at your workplace. But don’t let a call or email go unanswered. If necessary, call or write again.
- If your child is having a problem in class, talk with the teacher first. The teacher will appreciate it and be more willing to work with you. Going over the teacher’s head, in most cases, puts everyone on the defensive.
- Find out how the local school and the school district operates. It will help you understand what teachers can and must do, what their limitations are and how you, the parent can help.
- Ask your child’s teacher and the school to clarify what your child should be learning and doing during the school year and ask for ways you can help reinforce the educational program at home.
- Set high expectations for your child. Your child will benefit from it and the teacher will appreciate it.
Article reprinted from PTA.org