Parents provide children with their first learning experiences, starting with eating, sitting, walking, colouring at kindergarten, writing and reading at school etc. Since parents help their kids in establishing their basic developmental milestones in life they can also help them do well at school.
Therefore reinforcing a strong parent-teacher partnership would be an indisputable strategy in guaranteeing support of children’s learning process in educational institutions. It’s been confirmed from experts that a positive parent-teacher relationship contributes to children’s school success.
Though it is not as easy as you may think. There are teachers your child will love and teachers your child may not love. You probably like some teachers than some others, too. There are teachers who may adore your child and those who just don’t understand him.
But whatever the case, your child’s teacher is the second most important person in your child’s life (after the parents, of course). And you can help make their relationship a strong and rewarding one.
“A positive parent-teacher relationship helps your child feel good about school and be successful in school,” advises Diane Levin, Ph.D., professor of education at Wheelock College. “It demonstrates to your child that he can trust his teacher because you do. This positive relationship makes a child feel like the important people in his life are working together.”
Great communication is very key to making this relationship work. “Communication on both sides is extremely important,” notes teacher Susan Becker, M. Ed. “Parents need information about what and how their child is learning, and teachers need important feedback from parents about the child’s academic and social development.”
Trying to communicate with a busy teacher that has up to 30 students in a class might not be that easy. When’s the right time to talk — and when isn’t? How can you get her attention? What should you bring up with her and what should be left alone? How do you create a relationship with someone you may only see a few times a year? And how do you do this without being overanxious?
These are the strategies we constantly encourage at Greensprings school. They’ll help you build a positive relationship with your child’s teacher. They are based on pbs recommendation.
Approach this relationship with respect
Treat the teacher-parent-child relationship the way you would any really important one in your life. Create a problem-solving partnership, instead of confronting a teacher immediately with what’s wrong. “Meet with a teacher to brainstorm and collaborate ways to help your child, instead of delivering a lecture,” recommends Susan Becker, M. Ed.
Let your child develop his own relationship with the teacher
“This is one of the first relationships with an adult your child may have outside the family unit. If you take a back seat and let the relationship develop without much interference, a special bond may develop,” advises guidance counsellor Linda Lendman. “For young children, the teacher-child relationship is a love relationship,” adds Michael Thompson, PhD. “In fact, it may be their first love relationship after their parents, and it can be pretty powerful and wonderful.”
Try not to brag
Of course, you think your child is brilliant, but bragging over her many accomplishments may send a message to the teacher that you think he may not be good enough to teach your child. “You don’t need to sell your child to the teacher,” notes Michael Thompson PhD. “You have to trust that your child’s teacher will come to know what’s important herself. Telling a teacher that your child loves to read will thrill the teacher. But challenging the teacher with statements like ‘Susie reads 70 books over the summer’ or ‘Matthew is a whiz at math,’ may backfire.”
Remember how you liked (or disliked) your teachers
Your experience at school is likely to affect your attitude toward your child’s teacher. “It’s important to leave your own baggage at the door, so you can talk about your child with the teacher (and not about you!)” adds Michael Thompson, PhD.
Positive parent-school communications benefit parents. The way schools communicate and interact with parents affects the extent and quality of parents’ home involvement with their children’s learning. If a school speaks more about students’ bad performance than their excellence, it might discourage parent involvement by making parents feel they cannot effectively help their children.
There are lots of evidence showing that the involvement of parents benefits students in the long run. This includes better academic achievement, increased motivation for learning, improved behaviour, more regular attendance, and a more positive attitude about homework and school in general.
Also, by having more contact with parents, teachers learn more about students’ needs and their home environment, which is information they can apply toward improving learning. Parents who are involved tend to have a more positive view of teachers, which results in improved teacher morale.