Everyone wants to have a good relationship with their child’s teacher. Whatever age your child is, and whether they’ve had problems in the past or not, a good relationship with their teacher is important to make sure there is open access and communication.
Here are some top tips for making sure you maintain a good relationship with your child’s teacher and don’t accidentally get them offside…
1. Arrange an appointment if there’s something you want to discuss. At the beginning and the end of the day, the teacher has a whole classroom full of children to deal with, and they won’t appreciate having a parent approach them to discuss a problem.
2. Try to understand that children behave differently at school. Often children can misbehave out of frustration at school, or show a cheeky side you have never seen at home. Teachers do sometimes get it wrong, but for the most part it’s better to believe them when they tell you what your child has been up to during the school day.
3. Listen to what they tell you at parents’ evening. Often teachers will tell us what we can help with at home, and this may be something we had not thought of, or thought our child was already quite proficient in. By helping our children to practice something where they lack confidence while they’re at home, we can make things easier for both child and teacher in the classroom.
4. Reinforce school rules. If the school rule is that children must wear shoes, even if your child claims their best friend wears trainers every day, it’s helpful to back the teachers and insist on shoes. This goes for all sorts of rules; it’s easier for teachers to enforce rules if they know they have the backing of parents.
5. Label everything - and don’t expect the teacher to keep track of it all! Schools often ask us to put labels on clothing etc, but it can become tiresome and uniform or kit bought part way through the year can miss the annual labelling event that goes on in September in most homes. If something is not labelled and goes missing, it is unlikely the teacher will know more about its whereabouts than your child.
6. Try not to be pushy. Your child might be reading brick-like novels at home, but teachers can only assess children by how they perform in the classroom. Try to resist the urge to tell them how to do their job or to question them on their decisions unless you feel it will have a big impact on your child’s future development.
7. Help out. If a note comes out asking for volunteers for a school trip or to come and talk to the class about something, help out where you can. Teachers really appreciate parental involvement, in whatever form you’re able to give it.