How to Build a Positive Relationship with Your Child's Teacher
By Adele Paynter
Our job as parents and educators is to work together to ensure that we make school a safe space for great learning to take place. This is the kind of partnership that defines a school and makes it such an amazing place for kids. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you build relationships with your child’s teacher:
Share & Listen
You are an expert on your child, and it's important to share your insights with your teacher — your child's hopes/dreams, worries/fears and interests/passions. It helps us be better teachers for your children. Your child’s teachers will also share their unique perspective on your child with you. Sometimes what we see is the same; sometimes what we see is different. All the adults in a child’s life have unique perspectives and vantage points, which is what makes sharing and open communication so valuable.
As parents, we know that every year will have its share of bumps in the road. and an important lesson we teach our children is how we respond to those adversities. Please reach out quickly and directly to your child’s teachers to problem-solve any challenges together. This will help keep small problems small and allows teachers to quickly get on top of any larger issues. Teachers appreciate you sharing any concerns directly with them — even if they are hard to share — and the sooner, the better!
Kindness and a Sense of Humor
Teaching and parenting are hard, so we always encourage a healthy amount of kindness, forgiveness and humor. During my first year teaching, one mom came into the classroom and said to me, “Let’s make a deal. … I'll believe about half of what my child says about school if you believe about half of what she tells you about my parenting.”
Raising children is no easy task, but a little laughter and camaraderie will help everyone keep it all in perspective.
Adele Paynter is the Head of Lower School for Charlotte Country Day School.
About the school: Located in South Charlotte, Charlotte Country Day School has a 75-year history in the area and serves grades from junior Kindergarten through 12th grade. It is also the only independent school in the region to have a separate campus for Middle School students. From vocal and instrumental music to single-gender math classes, the curriculum is designed to support students during these transitional years.