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Five Tips for Communicating With Your Child’s Teacher

August 03, 2016
By Anna Lock, Middle School Teacher
Parent Communication

“At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child's success is the positive involvement of parents.” -Jane D. Hull

Parental involvement starts with communicating well with your child's teacher. Good communication involves meeting with the teacher, establishing a positive and respectful partnership together, and keeping the lines of communication open in various ways throughout the year.

Some of the simplest ways to create and maintain active communication are:

1. Attend the school open house.  Even though time may be short, a few simple minutes can show your interest and support.

2. Attend parent teacher conferences. We are prepared and look forward to discussing your child’s progress with you.  Parent Teacher Conferences are a wonderful time to touch base and learn about your child, as well as upcoming curriculum in the class.

3. Reach out quickly via email or phone call.Don’t wait until a situation builds and becomes difficult.  We appreciate your direct and open communication.

  • Please practice email and voicemail etiquette.  Teachers are busy working with your children, and we don’t always have time to check email and voicemail.  Please keep in mind your child is our priority, and that we will respond as soon as possible, most likely by the end of the day.
  • Another essential when using email or voicemail is to keep the correspondence respectful, even if you are upset. Stay calm and choose your words wisely.  Better yet, briefly outline your question or problem and simply request a meeting.  A face to face meeting is the optimal way to discuss your child.

4. Find the right time to speak with the teacher.  When you want to speak with your child’s teacher, please be aware that finding the right time is essential.  It can often be difficult for teachers to talk at the curb or outside the classroom, as they are welcoming children in the morning or saying goodbye at dismissal, or in the grocery store.  Please reach out, but ask to schedule a time that is convenient for both.  

5. Be a partner with the teacher to support your child’s learning. Thirty years of research shows that children do better in school when their parents are involved. Some of the most important things you can do are to:

  • Help with homework as needed and as is appropriate.
  • Help your child learn the skills needed to manage time and stay on task.
  • Refer to Schoology to stay abreast of homework, grades, class updates, and upcoming projects, quizzes, and tests.  
  • Ask teachers for clarification on instructions and assignments if needed.
  • Talk about school matters with your student at home.
  • Ask teachers what you can do to help your child at home.

As your children get older, teachers expect them to be able to take on more responsibility and to function independently. Your child likely will want more and more autonomy as well. Help them build these skills while also continuing to be supportive.

Parents and teachers communicating effectively and working together builds a wonderful support system for children and enhances the educational experience for everyone.