It’s the most wonderful time of the year… nope not Christmas, but back to school!! Although many are dreading the cold weather that follows, the fact that the summer holidays are over, makes many parents jump with up with uncontrollable joy!
As we prepare ourselves with back to school shopping, scheduling, bedtimes, wake up times, and the dreaded lunches that don’t get eaten, I want to help you with one prep item that sometimes doesn’t make our list. How to build open communication with your child’s new teacher right away! Remember, your child’s teacher will be spending 6 hours a day, 5 days a week with your child. That’s 30 hours a week that this person will be working with and influencing your child. Having open communication is the only way it will work for your child to have a successful year!
So how do you do this…
1.) Introduce yourself
- Sounds easy right? But no one really does it properly! Listen up… the best thing to do is go in a week before and get the information on your child’s classroom and teacher. Most schools have that posted a week before. On the first day, go early, and introduce yourself. It doesn’t matter if your child is in Kindergarten or grade 8, go and meet the teacher the first day!
- If your child has more than one teacher, which many in grades 5 and up do, there is still a way to communicate. Write a letter introducing yourself, print it off and have your child give it to each teacher they have. This letter should be introducing you and your child. Include your contact information and let them know that you are looking forward to a great year. This is a great way to communicate when your child in high school!
2.) Book a 20 minute meeting
- During your introduction to the teacher, ask them if you can book a time where you can meet with them for about 20 minutes.
- In this meeting with the teacher, tell them about your child’s strengths and weakness in school. Tell the teacher the best way your child learns and what role you will play in your child’s education.
- Make sure you end the meeting receiving their contact information such as their email address.
- Have your child be part of this meeting speaking for themselves as well.
3.) Send an email
- After the meeting, send an email thanking the teacher for meeting you. Include what you discussed in this email and that you are looking forward to a great year working together.
4.) Prepare your child
- Make sure your child is ready for school. This means they have all the supplies that they need, they have the lunch that they are going to eat, their homework is completed and they are well rested. These little things helps the teachers so much more than we think.
5.) READ THE AGENDA!!!
- I’m guilty for this one as well… but nothing helps the teacher more than keeping up to date with the agenda. The agenda is the best way for the teacher to communicate with parents but parents are not reading it. Commit to reading the agenda daily to strengthen the relationship with you and the teacher.
- Also use this as a way to communicate with the teacher on a daily basis. For example, your child has an upcoming appointment and will be missing school. Put it in the agenda so the teacher is able to make sure your child is not missing anything big while absent.
- The agenda is a good tool to use with High school students as well. High school students receive agendas at the beginning of the year, but they “lose” them, or say they don’t actually need them. Believe me when I tell you, this is NOT true. This is a great way for youths to get organized and still have communication with the many teachers high school students have.
These tips will start you, your child and their teacher off to having a great year! They will open the lines of communication between you and the teacher that will in turn make your child have a successful year. Good luck and now you can spend the rest of the year going to thrilling school events and thinking of what to send for lunch that will not come back home uneaten.