Partnering with Your Child’s Teacher

Many parents first learn of their child’s new classroom teacher when the school supply list is first sent out, if not at the tail end of the previous school year. Regardless of which grade your child is in, there are different reasons as to why you should reach out to their new teachers and develop a rapport. First, it can help to get to know the teacher and see what they are like for yourselves. Second, you may need to explain some of your child’s needs or behaviors beforehand. And lastly, you can gather some information regarding your child’s new teacher and their expectations early on so that you as well as your child understand what is needed from the upcoming school year.

Working with your child’s teacher can help you and your child. Some teachers openly invite parents early on in the year, whether during the first couple weeks of school or the weeks just prior to the first day, to come in and learn more about the environment in which their children will be learning for the next several months. It is highly encouraged that parents take teachers up on this preliminary meeting for a variety of reasons. It can be troublesome to have to talk to a teacher for the first time because a negative event precedes and demands it, so in the event that this should happen to you for any reason, having that initial meeting with the teacher first can help make meetings like that much easier to swallow. Additionally, working with your child’s teacher can give you a better understanding of the “big picture” at school and in your child’s current grade. It will help you to know what the educational objectives are in your child’s classroom, as well getting a better idea of what the teacher is like in terms of personality and temperament.

Specific needs. Whether your child has a learning disability or simply has behavioral quirks that could use some coaxing and understanding, explaining this to your child’s new teacher early on can also help to alleviate, if not prevent, future issues or disputes. If your child’s teacher goes into the school year with a marginal understanding of your child, they then have the tools with which to better judge their behavior and needs in the classroom, avoiding misunderstandings and other problems. It can also help to tell your child’s new teacher whether they have any particular difficulties with certain subjects, concepts or classroom activities, making it easier on the teacher as well as your child in the future.

The more a teacher knows about a student, the better he/she can teach them. They could suggest ways to approach a writing assignment that involves your child’s interests in which they would have not known about without your partnership.

Knowing what to expect. Making sure that you, your child, and their teacher are all at least a bit acquainted with one another can do a lot to make the rest of the school year much easier than you expect. Making sure to meet with your child’s teacher can make future appointments and meetings much easier to make and it can also make them more productive and informative.

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