Parent Teacher Relationship

This articles offers strategies which can help parents establish and maintain a good relationship with your child's teacher.

A good relationship with your child's teacher is essential in order for you to work together to nurture and educate your child. Here are a few strategies which can help you establish and maintain a good relationship with your child's teacher:

Get to know your child's school

Make an appointment to visit your child's school. It's important that you set up an appointment, not arrive without notice. On the day of your appointment, look around the school, talk to the principal and your child's teachers. Find out what your child's school mission statement is, how they plan to accomplish those goals, and what problems they encounter. Make it clear that as a parent, you would like to be an integral part of your child's education, which means that the schools' well-being is of interest to you.

Get to know your child's teacher

Spend time with your child's teacher, speaking about your child's performance and academic needs. Express interest in her teaching materials and methods she uses to meet her objectives. Where appropriate, compliment her on a job well done.

Help with your child's homework

Your child's homework offers an affective way to participate in your child's education. It gives you the opportunity to communicate about her school activities and to help her learn effectively. This way, you will always be up to date on your child's performance and will notice should something go wrong. Check with your child's teacher about correcting homework. Never, ever do your child's homework for her.

Try to attend school functions

Where possible, attend school functions such as open houses and PTA meetings. This will give you the opportunity to meet with the teacher to discuss your child's progress.

School conference

The purpose of the school conference is to find out how well your child is doing, what her strengths and weaknesses are, and what you can do to help your child learn effectively. Some of the questions you can ask are:

a)What are the objectives my child is supposed to attain? How do these objectives lead to the overall outcome objectives?

b)Is my child performing at grade level in basic skills? What are her reading skills? What are her mathematical skills?

c)What are the tests that have been given to my child this year( vocational, aptitude etc) What were the scores? What do the scores man?

d) What are my child's strengths and weaknesses in major subject areas? What subjects do my child enjoy most? Go over some examples of your child's class work with the teacher.

e) Does my child need special help in any academic subject?

f) Who are my child's friends and how does she interact with other students?

g)Has my child attended class regularly?

h)Have you observed any changes in learning progress during the year? Has learning improved or declined during the year?

When there is a problem

Should there be problems with your child, and you are called to meet with the teacher, keep in mind that the teacher is a professional who does want to help you child. The questions that she asks are not intended to be mean or nosy, but to have a clearer understanding of the child's home life, which does impact on your child's well-being and academic performance.

You don't have to be right or wrong. Both of you are exploring what is wrong with your child, and how you can both help her. The conference is not a personal attack.

Should you disagree with the method the teacher uses to solve an existing problem, give her the reasons you disagree in a calm manner. Offer alternative solutions or ask her to help you find a few.

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