How (and Why) to Maintain a Positive Relationship with Your Child’s Teacher

Maintain a positive relationship with your child's teacher.

The relationship you have with your child’s teacher affects how your child views school and education, which will impact his life for years to come. Use these tips to cultivate a positive working relationship with your child’s teacher.

Prepare Kids for School
Help teachers do their job by sending your kids to school prepared. This means making sure their brains are ready to learn by providing a nutritious and filling breakfast each morning; keeping a consistent bedtime routine to ensure their bodies get required rest; and arming them with necessary school supplies.

Avoid Gossip
Socializing with parents from your child’s class is a natural occurrence. Unfortunately, birthday parties and sidelines at soccer fields can easily become the breeding ground for petty gossip and rumors. What begins as innocent chit chat among adults can lead to exaggeration, which can magnify a simple problem or minor complaint. Avoid the temptation to engage in malicious talk and refuse to be involved in non-productive discussions.

Contact Directly and Rationally
Throughout the school year, concerns about your child’s education or problems on the playground may arise. Typically, it’s best to first contact the teacher directly. Remember that it’s your responsibility to model positive and appropriate conflict resolution techniques to your child.    

If you believe your son received an unfair grade or you’re not happy with how a behavioral issue was addressed, think before you fire off a scathing email or leave an angry voicemail. No one likes to see her child upset, but it’s important to spend a few minutes listening to your child’s account of events and thoughtfully consider how to proceed.

If contacting the teacher is warranted, take emotion out of the situation before you do so (consider waiting until the next day, if necessary). A good night’s sleep can provide valuable perspective. If you have a rational discussion and a suitable resolution was not reached, contact a principal or supervisor for help.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T
Respect the teacher’s time in and out of the classroom. As parents we would love for our kids to have as much individualized attention as they need, but it’s unrealistic to believe teachers have the time and resources to explain every concept until each student understands it perfectly. If your child is having difficulty at school, it may be necessary to hire a tutor (or other professional) outside of regular school hours.

Support Your Teacher Through Small Acts
Acknowledge the hard work and patience that goes into educating and caring for your child. The simple act of recognizing a job well done can make an educator’s day brighter. If your child is excited about a particular unit being taught, send a handwritten note explaining how much the teacher’s enthusiasm for the subject has rejuvenated your child’s thirst for learning. Acknowledgement of her dedication to education will be appreciated.

Be an Active Participant
Teachers appreciate parents who are involved in their student’s education. But note that involved doesn’t mean doing your kids’ homework. It means being aware of tests, projects and field trips; and teaching your child time management skills so assignments are handed in on time.

You can also volunteer as a room parent, be the point of contact for a school project, offer occasional help in the classroom or provide snacks or supplies as needs arise. Send an email letting the teacher know how you are available. Many hands make light work, and the benefits far outweigh the costs.


------------
Maureen Schuster is a freelance writer and mother of three boys.

Published: September 2014

How to Find the Right Preschool

How to Find the Right Preschool

Choosing the right preschool is an important decision for parents. For some, it will be the first time a stranger will watch and care for their child. Here are tips to help make the right decision.C . . .

Read more

5 Tips for SAT Success

5 Tips for SAT Success

Mastering the SAT can have tremendous impact on a student’s life, but it comes at a cost. Preparing for the SAT can be a stressful process for teens (because the stakes are high) and for parents ( . . .

Read more

5 Back-to-School Tips for Divorced Parents

5 Back-to-School Tips for Divorced Parents

Transitions from grade to grade can be challenging. Adding the stress of divorce—especially for newly divorced parents—can make a new school year even more nerve-racking for the entire family. C . . .

Read more

Farmers Markets Offer a Bounty of Learning Opportunities

Farmers Markets Offer a Bounty of Learning Opportunities

Going to farmers markets on a regular basis puts fresh, seasonal produce at kids’ eye level. They start to notice that foods vary week by week and learn what’s in season. This offers an opportunit . . .

Read more

The Preschool Years: The ideal time to introduce a second language

The Preschool Years: The ideal time to introduce a second language

Studies show that when children learn a second language, there is a boost to cognitive growth, creativity and critical thinking skills. Bilingual children also tend to be more empathetic and open-mi . . .

Read more

Safety Tips for Children Who Walk to School

Safety Tips for Children Who Walk to School

Is your child ready to walk to school? Ask yourself the questions below before deciding. These safety guidelines and tips will help ensure a safe walk to school.Walking to school is a healthy altern . . .

Read more

How to Find the Perfect Preschool

How to Find the Perfect Preschool

Looking for a preschool program for your child? Help ensure a positive preschool experience with this list of tips, highlighting what to look for in a preschool and questions to ask.   The Bene . . .

Read more

Teacher Gifts that Could Land You on the Naughty List

Teacher Gifts that Could Land You on the Naughty List

(and what teachers REALLY want) We asked local teachers what the best gifts for teachers are—and in the process, also discovered which are worth reconsideration. All contributing teachers expressed . . .

Read more

Junior Achievement Opens Mission Fed JA Finance Park for Teens

Junior Achievement Opens Mission Fed JA Finance Park for Teens

Junior Achievement of San Diego County (JA) recently opened the Mission Fed JA Finance Park, an innovative, interactive educational center, to teach a new generation of tech-savvy high school studen . . .

Read more

25 Activities that Support Your Child in Math

25 Activities that Support Your Child in Math

Is math homework giving you a headache? Do you dread hearing the words, “I hate math!” While math may not appeal to some children, it is helpful to everyday living, and strong math skills can op . . .

Read more

How to Volunteer at School without Burning Out

How to Volunteer at School without Burning Out

According to the nonprofit research center Child Trends, parent involvement in school is linked to better grades and fewer behavior problems in students, particularly for those in elementary school. P . . .

Read more

Your Child's Education: You Have Options

Your Child's Education: You Have Options

When it comes to being a parent, perhaps one of the most important responsibilities you have is to provide your child with a quality education. The good news is, parents have numerous educational op . . .

Read more

A+ Parent Teacher Conferences

A+ Parent Teacher Conferences

Parents usually fall into different categories when it comes to parent teacher conferences. Some love to spend time with their child’s teacher, talking about what is going well and brainstorming s . . .

Read more

How (and Why) to Maintain a Positive Relationship with Your Child’s Teacher

How (and Why) to Maintain a Positive Relationship with Your Child’s Teacher

The relationship you have with your child’s teacher affects how your child views school and education, which will impact his life for years to come. Use these tips to cultivate a positive working . . .

Read more

Discover San Diego's Landmark Central Library

Discover San Diego's Landmark Central Library

Looking for another great way to inspire your little ones to get reading? How about a visit to the Central Library (opened September 2013)? One of the first things you’ll notice when you visit the . . .

Read more

Exploring the Common Core Curriculum

Exploring the Common Core Curriculum

The Common Core State Standards or CCSS (also referred to as the Core Curriculum) have been adopted by 46 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. These new educational standards will replace the N . . .

Read more

Could Online Education Be Right For Your Child?

Could Online Education Be Right For Your Child?

In recent years, we have come to see the benefit of customizable education. More and more colleges and universities offer online or accelerated programs, and there is no end to the availability of o . . .

Read more

How to Manage Child-Teacher Conflict

How to Manage Child-Teacher Conflict

“I hate my teacher,” *Elora, 9, declared to her mother. But, when pressed for details, her mom says Elora buried her head in her knees. So she tried a different approach. “I engaged her in a f . . .

Read more

How to Nurture Your Child's Writing Passion Outside of School

How to Nurture Your Child's Writing Passion Outside of School

Away from home, or simply away from school, summer is an ideal time to nurture your child’s love of writing. Kids that normally balk at homework assignments and deadlines can relax and write what . . .

Read more

Homework Help

Homework HelpHomework strikes fear in the hearts of many parents. When it comes to homework help, asking the right questions is more important than knowing all the answers. Use these smart prompts to . . .

Read more

San Diego Family Magazine Logo

Be Family Informed – Sign up for our Newsletters below!