Six Steps to Improve Communication with Your Child’s Teacher
When a child comes to school, they already have one parent in their life. Parents agree to the age-old unwritten rule of marriage that they must share the duties of parenting with the other parent. Ideally, two parents are equally involved with their children, but exceptions must be made.
However, things can go wrong when a parent who came to be involved in the child’s education gives up or ignores the responsibilities after they have the child. In these circumstances, the reason for the problems can be entirely within the child’s hands.
What can you do to improve the communication between you and your child’s teacher? Please read on.
1. Discourage your child from bringing gifts to school
You may be wondering why a child is bringing a new toy or drawing art work to school, when it makes no sense in the following situations:
Adults enjoy taking gifts to school, but are you going to give it to your child when he or she is not in the middle of the lesson?
You have the opportunity to get a new toy and pick up a paper or pencil or something to write on. When he or she brings it to school, you are not going to share it with the teacher.
If your child brings home art work to school that is brand new, or in perfect condition, give the teacher something to reflect the work. However, when your child comes home with something that looks as though it’s been used, or has dents, stains, or dirt on it, don’t give it to the teacher. I’ve had parents bring in used pencils or old water bottles. Once someone brings something in, it’s impossible to take it back.
Teachers have seen so much paint, a broken pencil, and crumpled up paper. If it’s found on school property, the principal will look at it and tell you what needs to be done. Also, the teacher may not even notice it.
2. Explain the rules
Set up rules for bringing in items or creating gifts for school. Tell your child it’s not okay to bring in the latest film they’ve seen, and that instead, they should come with a note or hand in a gift. If you feel strongly about your rules, don’t bring gifts.
3. Go outside and play
Go outside with your child to play for an hour. If you both need to get your exercise, take a break.
4. Write letters
Make a list of all your child’s hobbies. When the teacher receives a letter from your child, it will be dated. What’s more, it will be hand-written.
Every student deserves a personal note from the teacher that includes a specific topic on the subject of their interest. Let your child write a letter or write on a list about something he or she enjoys doing in school or has wanted to do.
5. Don’t discuss with the teacher
Keep all conversations about your child at home. Trust me, teachers can see you plotting on a role play.
6. Set up a weekly meeting with the teacher
Have this discussion at your level, even if it’s with the parent. A boy who has learning problems should be having a weekly meeting with the teacher. Discuss what your child is doing to improve and discuss what type of behavior a teacher will be more likely to give the child. Make sure your children have the opportunity to talk with their teacher on a regular basis.
These measures can help your child learn that what he or she does at home and in school is important. It is when they become masters of those little things that their teachers will appreciate them as much as you do.
Linda Flanagan, Educational Advisor for Educator Office Link®, is the author of Educator’s Code of Ethics® Certification Exam Prep & Test Prep, and the national educational trainer and coach for EOH® “Practitioner Coach®,” Program II, EOH® “Retention Officer®,” and EOH®“Confucius®”, Program III. She is also a creator of Life Audit™, a certification program that helps people become confident and empowered to move toward their own set of educational and life goals. The Life Audit™ program is based on research that shows that 60% of the personal leadership the world needs is generated by leaders in your own life.