August 15, 2018

Parent-Teacher Collaboration: What to Expect and How to Make the Most of Your Relationship

The idea of parent/teacher meetings can be scary or uncomfortable for parents, particularly when your first child is starting school. It’s your first time navigating parent-teacher relationships.
CLEAR Child Psychology offers five points for you to consider as your child begins school. Here’s what you should do in those first weeks or months!

One, get to know your child’s teacher at the beginning of the year. Go to any offered open houses or school tours to meet school personnel. Familiarize yourself with the school and school community.
Early exchange of information about your child should be positive from teachers and parents. Help your child’s teacher get to know all the wonderful things about him or her and build a relationship before addressing any unique learning needs.

Two, if you can, volunteer occasionally in your child’s classroom. These opportunities are another way to understand the classroom and to get to know teachers and aides.
Even spending an hour there once a month will help you gain a better understanding of the classroom structure, flow of the day and other requirements.

Three, teachers and parents should have open email, note or phone communication so that a child’s needs are met through collaboration.
Some classrooms will have websites with information about what the children are learning and links to homework and enrichment information.
Parent-teacher meetings will go more smoothly if you know something about the lessons, homework and day-to-day classroom schedule and interaction.

Four, as a parent it is important to go into a meeting with your own questions.
Be prepared to listen to your child’s teacher and also have information to share or questions to ask about assignments, classroom behavior and aptitude.
If you have concerns that your child is struggling with certain material, share them with his or her teacher so you can be on the same page.
At the same time, hear a teacher’s praise and concerns, thinking all the time about collaboration to meet your child’s needs.

Five, Collaboration is key. If you have ideas about what works for your child at home, share those and expect that your child’s teacher will share what works at school.
For strategies on specific concerns you may have for your child, see www.cleape.com.

If you come into a parent-teacher meeting with a few ideas for your child’s learning, it is more likely that your child’s teacher will share his or her ideas and collaborate with you to best support your child. Win-win!

School and home collaboration is the most effective way to support learning and troubleshoot concerns.

We hope your child has a wonderful school year!

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