As parents, you might ask what does my relationship with the teacher have to do with my child’s education? I’m here to tell you, it means more than you know! I am not suggesting that you have to be best friends with your child’s teacher, but developing a relationship with your child’s teacher can prove to have huge benefits.
The biggest benefits are trust and open lines of communication (addressing both successes and concerns, with email there is no more need to wait for parent teacher conferences). For example, your child comes home complaining that someone was teasing him at school and that it has been going on for a couple of days. If you have a strong relationship with the teacher, you quickly send an email and the teacher addresses the issue directly the next day. If you didn’t have an established relationship, would you feel differently?
· Smile, smile, smile! Introduce yourself more than once and don’t be offended if your child’s teacher forgets your name.
· Get to know your child’s teacher! Ask questions (be careful not to get too personal, but ask questions that show you genuinely care about them.)
· Be helpful, if you want to “check out” your child’s class ask if there is anything you can do.
· Give notes or emails of gratitude. The more teachers feel appreciated the harder they try, because they feel valued as professionals.
· If you are able to, volunteer in the classroom or from home. In many cases, teachers have projects that can be done at home and sent back on a predetermined due date.
· You get out, what you put in!