Partnering with your Child's Teacher for a Successful School Year

How can you effectively collaborate with your child's teacher? By fostering positive and productive communication throughout the year. Just as it is important to talk with your child about school, communicating with his or her teacher is crucial as well. Read on for a few pointers on how to develop a positive parent-teacher relationship and make the most out of it all year long.

Go to parent-teacher conferences.
Take advantage of parent-teacher conferences, which offer regular opportunities for you to talk with your child's teacher face to face. To get the most out of these meetings, jot down any issues you'd like to discuss before you go. If your child is struggling with school or homework, ask his or her teacher lots of questions, such as:

  • Does my child seem focused during class?
  • Does my child come prepared for class
  • Does my child complete all homework and classroom assignments
  • Does my child get along with his or her peers?
  • What are my child's best subjects? What subjects does my child struggle with?
  • Does my child participate in class?
  • Does my child pay attention in class?
  • Has my child had absences from school that I may not be aware of?
  • What tests will my child take this school year? What do these tests measure?

Of course, your child's teacher may have a few questions for you as well. If your child is experiencing problems at home, with friends or in other areas of his or her life, be sure to share this with your child's teacher. Together, the two of you can brainstorm ways to lessen the impact of outside factors on your child's school performance.

Keep interactions positive and collaborative.
Not every parent-teacher relationship will be perfect. Topics such as homework, tests and learning environment may rouse disagreement between you and your child's teacher, particularly if your child is struggling to keep up or has difficulty completing assignments. However, it's best to approach your child's teacher with a cooperative attitude, avoiding assigning blame or criticizing. First, attempt to understand the situation. Remember that your child's teacher also has your child's best interests in mind.

Ask teachers what you can do to help your child at home.
Whether at parent-teacher conferences or in a separate meeting or discussion, be sure to ask your child's teacher for suggestions on how to help your child get the most out of homework and improve his or her study habits. Your child's teacher will likely have several helpful suggestions and be more than willing to help you devise an action plan to enhance your child's learning at home.

Be mindful of a teacher's schedule.
Keep in mind when calling your child's teacher or requesting meetings that he or she likely interacts with many other students' parents on a regular basis as well. Ask your child's teacher what is the best way for the two of you to communicate. Some teachers may suggest using email to stay in touch when quick questions arise, saving in-person meetings for bigger issues.

In the end, you and your child's teacher have the same goal: to provide your child the best education possible. Do your part to make it a great year by keeping the lines of communication open. Huntington is here to help every step of the way. If your child needs additional help, turn to us. We can address areas where your child may be struggling and tailor a program based on his or her learning needs.


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