Involvement: The Key to School Success
Having a good relationship with your child’s teacher will help ensure his success. It shows him that you care about his education.
Having a prior relationship with the teacher is helpful if any problems do arise. It makes it easier to have a discussion about your child’s needs. Here are some ideas for building a positive relationship with your child’s teacher:
Meet the teacher as soon as possible. Don’t wait until there is a problem. Arrange to meet the teacher and visit the class as soon as class assignments are made. Other parents can influence your impression of your child’s teacher. Try to meet her with an open mind.
Volunteer in the classroom. Offer to decorate a bulletin board, copy worksheets or do other time-consuming jobs that take the teacher away from students.
Share your talents. If you play an instrument, have traveled to another country or exciting place, or have an interesting job or hobby, offer to share it with the class. Children like to learn about new things and are usually very welcoming.
Provide a meal. On the days of parent-teacher conferences, open house and Christmas programs, bring in hot food for your child’s teacher. She may not have time to drive home and cook before having to be back at school for the event.
Help out with field trips. If you can’t volunteer in the classroom because of your schedule, try to clear a day to accompany your child on a field trip. If you can’t do that, perhaps you can prepare and keep track of permission slips or provide snacks.
Offer to relieve the teacher of a duty. Volunteer to take lunch room or playground duty once a week if the teacher is required to do it. Walk the children to library time and help them check out books. You will meet your child’s friends and watch them interact.
Keep in touch. Keep the teacher informed of any changes or stressful events that affect your child’s performance. Things such as a grandparent’s visit, death or injury of a pet, birth of a new sibling or death of a family member can affect a child’s school performance.
Building a relationship with your child’s teacher will boost his performance and be a valuable experience for everyone.
• Read to the class once a month.
• Eat with your child in the cafeteria once a month.
• Attend parent-teacher conferences, concerts and open houses.
• Volunteer for special projects or field trips.
Katrina Cassel, M.Ed., lives with her husband, five of their children, and an assortment of pets in the Florida panhandle. Katrina is the author of five books on parenting.