Working with your Child's Teacher
Having a good relationship with your child’s teacher can create an important link between home and school. Learn about some of the different ways to stay connected - from helping out with lessons to simply sharing your views with the teacher, there are many different ways to get involved.
Here are Dad Info’s Top Tips for getting a good partnership with your child’s teacher established:
Establish a relationship early on.
You don’t have to wait until that first parents evening (which can be a fair way into the first term, if not later) to meet or talk to your child’s teacher. Take any opportunity to introduce yourself and have a chat – if you do the school pick up/drop off, this can be an ideal time.
Give them your parental insights
No one knows your child like you do. If there is something which you know is likely to cause upset or difficulty in school – flag this up. If there any learning or support needs which your child has, also make sure these are raised early on. If anything is going on at home which might impact on your child’s behaviour at school, or mean they need a little more support or a watchful eye for a while, this is also a useful thing to let the teacher know. The death of a family pet, a big sibling leaving to go travelling, the arrival of a new baby, or so on, these life changes can affect children but they may not tell their teacher about them. Your child’s teacher can better support them when they are aware of these kinds of issues or considerations.
Sometimes you might find that your child is struggling with a piece of homework. Rather than send a note in or leaving it undone, it can be a good idea to just chat to the teacher about the difficulty, to see what they can do to help, but also what you might be able to do too.
If you don’t feel a piece of homework is appropriate for your child, or they are being given too much, mention this to the teacher without anticipating a negative response. Even if you don’t agree on some smaller details, you both want your child to learn and thrive, so go to talk to them looking for a mutual solution, not an argument.
Go to parents evenings
Even if you have a good relationship with your child’s class teacher, try and go to parents evenings too. These are a great opportunity to have a look through your chld’s work, discuss the curriculum and progress against learning goals, etc in a different way than you will through more informal chats.
It’s also a good opportunity to find out if there is anything you can do to support your child’s learning further at home, as well as relaying anything new that you think they need to be aware of.
If you are not happy about something…
It might about how much homework your child has gotten, a school rule, something which has happened at school between your child and a teacher, or a child and another child. Whatever it is, it is important that you feel able to address it positively.
If possible, arrange to discuss the issue without your child present, so that the teacher does not feel undermined, as this would be an unfair position to put them in. If you are not happy with the response, you can always arrange to speak to the headteacher too, as you may get a different response from a different education professional.
A great way to develop a positive relationship with the school teachers is by looking for ways to get involved in the school. Being present (when possible) at Sports Days, School Concerts or Fairs, and other events. Some schools will look for parent volunteers for class activities, and this is a great way to build relationships too.
There are lots of ways to support your child’s learning by working with your teacher… for more tips on how to support your child to get the most out of school, also check out our articles on: