Arrive on time. Respect and listen to the teacher. Say please and thank you.
These three simple tips are a great way for your child to make a strong first impression during the first week of school. These tips also help you make a good first impression with your child’s teacher.
Beyond the first impression, you need to establish a good ongoing relationship with your child’s teacher so that they know you respect them and care about your child’s education. It also communicates to your child that you value his or her education and performance. Here are four ways you can start building that relationship.
1. Pick up your child from school one day to introduce yourself.
Introduce yourself to the teacher and communicate that you want to help them by making sure your child is prepared to learn when he or she comes to school in the morning. Letting the teacher know you both want the same thing—for your child to learn and succeed—is a great first step.
2. Provide your contact information and an open invitation to connect.
Yes, the school office already has your contact information, but giving it directly to your child’s teacher with the invitation to reach out if they have any concerns or successes to report shows them that you’re open to talking, you take your child’s education seriously, and you’re an engaged parent.
3. Show your appreciation.
Send thank you notes from you and your child with his or her homework every few months. Let the teacher know that even when you’re not there, you appreciate what they do for your child.
4. Be respectful and start with the teacher.
If you learn of an issue in the classroom or with your child’s academic performance, talk to the teacher before anyone else. You demonstrate respect by honoring their expertise first and not immediately rushing to the principal.
If you’ve tried this method and you’re not satisfied with the teacher’s response, then let them know that you would like to discuss the situation with their supervisor. Being honest about taking the discussion to someone else maintains transparency and invites the teacher into that conversation to better resolve the issue.
These are simple ways to establish a good relationship with your child’s teacher, beginning in the fall and continuing throughout the school year. But what happens if you don’t speak the same language as the teacher? You can still make the same efforts, but it will require a little planning on your end to get started.
1. Ask the school to provide a translator.
Ask the school’s translator to be present when you introduce yourself to the teacher and give both the teacher and translator your contact information. Work with the translator to find an effective method for open and, if necessary, frequent communication between you and the teacher through the school’s translator.
2. Find a friend or family member to translate your thank you note.
You can write it in your language at the top of the note and then have your friend write the English translation at the bottom. This way, the teacher sees your writing and your intention, but also understands your message in their language.
Teachers want to build a good relationship with you just as much as you want to build a good relationship with them. Start with these steps and you will notice a difference with both the teacher and the student.
The relationship with your child’s teacher is important, but did you know that your child only spends eight percent of their time at school? Learn how you can support their education the other 92 percent of the time in the YOU: Your Child’s First Teacher books, available on Amazon.