As a new school year begins, one of the biggest questions on a parent’s mind is how to establish a relationship with their child’s new teacher or teachers. As a teacher myself, it was a whole new experience dropping my son off for his first day of Pre-K! I know that setting a communication foundation is key for moving forward and having a great school year, so here are some tips for starting the year:
· Introduce yourself! This can be super quick at drop-off or pick-up, or you can shoot the teacher a quick e-mail. Teachers want to know their students – what drives them, where they come from, what are their learning styles – and parents are the key to this at the beginning of the year. Don’t be afraid to share a little about your child to get them started. This also helps ensure everyone is on the same page. Let the teacher know they can reach out to you if there is an issue or a question.
· Be present! Attend Back to School Night. If for some reason you can’t, reach out to the teacher and see if you can meet with the them separately. Show that you are involved and interested. Respect the teacher’s role by showing up when they are off the clock. If a problem arises, don’t be afraid to request an in-person conference.
· Figure out your comfort zone! If you feel you are reaching out too much, you are probably right. Figure out what sort of communication best suits you. Do you see the teacher at drop-off or pick-up? Does the teacher send out a newsletter? If you feel you need more communication, ask the teacher about checking in biweekly or something that works for both of you.
· Be flexible! Teachers are human, too. We all know that they put in a ton of hours. So even if they have the best intentions, sometimes things can slip through the cracks. Trust me – it happens to all of us educators! It happens to all of us parents, too.
· Show your appreciation! A simple thank you goes a long way. I can’t say this enough. And, if you feel the teacher is doing a great job, show your appreciation with a hand-written note or gift card for a cup of coffee.
Our team of teacher tutors come from many different districts and areas, including Baltimore, Howard County, Anne Arundel County, and Harford County. We deal with parents all the time and we encourage you to try the above ideas! They work!