This year I am not accepting any excuses from any of my mom friends as it pertains to their children’s teachers. It's time we relinquish excuses and begin to create connections with our children's teachers. Too often, I hear stories of parents blaming teachers for poor performance. Now, don’t get me wrong, sometimes teachers can be unruly and downright unhelpful. Nevertheless, that is why I am charging all of us parents to hold them accountable, just as much as we must hold ourselves accountable. Creating a solid channel of communication with your child's teachers, not only builds a great rapport for the school year, but it sends a signal to the teachers that we are present, aware and involved. If we desire to raise resilient children, we must demonstrate those qualities as well. Here are some tips as we kick off the year.
Attend Open House - I know, it's the top of the school year and you may not be interested. You may be thinking you will catch up with the teachers during curriculum night or progress report time. I think it's best to catch teachers while they are excited about the start of the school year. This way, you catch them before your child can make any impression at all.
Attend Curriculum Night - I am always surprised at the low turnout I hear about at Curriculum Nights. From my perspective, this is one of the most important nights of the school year and here's why. This is when you learn about the expectations of your child as the student, you as the parent and the teacher. You also find out what you can expect during the course. This is an opportune time to ask questions you may have. Teachers typically share their contact information and are open to collaborating with you before the school year begins to ramp up. Go to curriculum night!
Chat One on One - If your child is enrolled in a class that you feel is not their strong suit, this is a great time to chat with the teacher initially to capture any tidbits of information you can gather.Again, we are building an open channel of communication here.
Follow up With An Email - Let’s say initially, you didn't have any questions. Consider all of the information you have been given about the classes and share your thoughts. If you have no questions, it's always nice to send a short message to say” Thanks for the information from curriculum Night and you I'm looking forward to a great school year. ” This is part of building the foundation of the relationship.
Check Online Status Weekly - There is no reason for us to ask children too many questions about where their grades stand because the information is available to us. Checking the grades weekly and emailing the teacher regarding any questions or concerns is the way to go. Once you have seen the grades you can talk them over with your child, but emailing the teacher is something that can be done quickly.
Parents, the relationship between us and teachers should be healthy. We should not be in cahoots with teachers (Unless absolutely it's warranted). Because we live in the digital age, we have access to all information before our children have an opportunity to deny anything. Let's utilize the options and resources available to us. Building a healthy relationship can be done and it is important . Having a collaborative relationship with our children's teacher(s), is a recipe to allow our children to thrive.
Let the fun begin!