Teacher Tips > How Parents Can Work With Teachers

How Parents Can Work With Teachers

Teacher Tips

Although it may be difficult at times, parent/teacher communication is an important way of making sure that your child succeeds at school. Children of involved parents typically have higher self-esteem, fewer behavioural problems and their grades usually improve.

Many teachers do welcome parents who care enough to call the school every once in a while, and there are plenty of ways that parents can get involved with their child's educational life and have a positive influence.

It may come as a surprise, but teachers are just as nervous about meeting parents so it may be a good idea to break the ice by sending them a introductory email or not and when the day comes for parent/teacher conferences, it is important to establish a friendly relationship from the very beginning. That way, when a problem arises, it can be dealt with quickly and easily with no unpleasant confrontations. For example, if you are concerned that the teacher is assigning an excessive amount of homework, you must not barge into the school accusing the teacher of being wrong. Allow them to make suggestions after calmly voicing your concern.

There are many things that parents can do at home to help their children succeed in class. Firstly, establish a comfortable routine with a designated time and place for homework. If they were not assigned any homework, then encourage them to spend that time reading. Secondly, make sure your child attends school every day, unless they are sick. Missed work is considered more of a loss than made up work is a gain as there is no substitute for being in class. And finally, make sure that you talk to your child every day after they come home from school. This shows that you care and have a true interest in what they have to say. After-School Programs are great ways for parents to get involved and also organizations such as the Parent Teacher Association (PTA). Get in touch with the school's office to find out more about both of these.

Teachers also have their part to play. It is important to give off the impression that your door is always open for both the student who may have a problem, and parents who may have concerns of their own.

When it comes to taking critique from parents, try not to take it much to heart, as they are not attack you personally. They are just being normal parents who worry about their child. So if they come into school questioning the amount of homework you have set or they think the grade you have awarded their child is unfair, then listen to what they have to say with genuine respect.

The PTA also works individually with teachers in order to teach them how to communicate effectively with parents over issues such as report cards, grades or other situations where the parents may become defensive about their child rather than being open to solutions. It is understandable to see both sides. Everyone just wants what is best for the children. An objective party like the PTA can help those solution see the light of day.

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