As a mother of two, I know how important it is to build a meaningful relationship between parents and their child’s school. As a previous school administrator and teacher (22 years, friends), I know just how crucial this relationship truly is. There are obviously many important relationships and partnerships in your life that also support your child’s wellbeing. Here you’ll learn why this partnership is one to put some new energy into.
I also know from experience, that today’s busy parents often feel overwhelmed and may not have the time or energy to communicate with your child’s school because everything seems perfectly fine and okay. Maybe you also feel intimidated or uncertain about how to go about establishing a meaningful relationship with school staff because you hold memories of a not-so-great school experience in your own childhood. Despite these challenges, I want to show you how to stay connected with your child’s school because it is the key to helping them thrive academically, socially, emotionally and in their extra-curricular activities.
Open Up the Communication
The first step to building a successful relationship is to ensure there is open communication. I make a point of keeping up to date with school information and any changes they’ve implemented by attending school meetings and speaking with my child’s teachers via text and email. My children’s teachers know about what is happening at school, what makes my kids tick, and what it means when they see a certain behavior (good or not-so good) in their classroom. They know these things because I share the with them. You may wonder why a teacher needs to know so much … I deeply believe that teachers, because of my experience, show up every day at school because they care about our kids. They want to know as much as they can so they can create an educational experience that supports your child.
Nurture Trust and Mutual Respect
But open communication alone is not enough, you also need to work on trust and mutual respect. I want to encourage you be supportive of the tremendous work teachers do every day, the budget shortfalls they face, and the lack of support they often receive from (other – not you) parents. Your partnership means everything to a teacher.
The best way to communicate with a teacher is to establish regular communication. This can be done through phone calls, emails, online forums, or social media. It is important to be proactive in reaching out, and to be clear and respectful in expressing your needs and concern. When reaching out, provide enough context so the teacher or school staff understands the reason for your inquiry
Remember the Why
From my 22 years of professional experience, I know that teachers and school staff show up to school every day for the kids, and truly that is it. I’m sure you are very aware that the teaching profession isn’t known for paying their teachers buckets of money because they are contributing to the greater good of humanity. No. So, keep in mind in your communication why your child’s teacher does what they do.
Also, keep in mind your your why. Why are you truly reaching out to the teacher or school administration? Are you trying to understand the rubric for an assignment? Are you hoping to get clarity of what really happened at recess? Remember, that what your child shares with you is from your child’s perspective, and not from the teacher’s perspective who is also teaching upwards of 25 other students in the classroom.
Communication between teachers and parents is very important in creating a successful learning environment for students. Open and honest dialogue is something everyone should strive for, as it facilitates understanding and builds strong relationships and trust. Even when disagreements may arise, having an open line of communication is essential to ensure the best outcomes for students. By putting in the effort to communicate openly and respectfully, everyone involved in a student’s academic life can benefit in the end. So while it’s never easy to talk through complicated issues, it’s always worth it to invest in a strong dialogue between parents and teachers.
To connect more with Amanda Irtz please visit her on Instagram @confidentparent_amandairtz. If you find value in this post, please like and share.