Published on August 15th, 2015 | by Millennium Magazine Staff0
By: Dr. Sabrina Suber, principal Richland Northeast High School
We’re ready! The 2015-2016 school year is here and we are ready to make it great. Together we can by building dynamic relationships.
We’re ready to use this school year to build stronger relationships – particularly parent, student and teacher relationships. It’s not always easy to know how to build a strong working relationship with your child’s teachers, but just a few simple steps will make the process smoother and easier for everyone.
The best parent-teacher relationships are partnerships where the adults work together for the child’s benefit. At Richland Northeast, our teachers are trained to “listen and learn” in their interactions with parents to make sure that they know the best way to build a cooperative effort.
Your child is likely to have many types of teachers, and will probably get along better with some than with others. This is perfectly natural, but it’s important not to let differences in personality create a barrier to your child’s learning. Here are some quick tips to pave the way:
- Teach the Teacher About Your Child
Share what you know about your child’s learning style, preferences, challenges, and academic strengths and weaknesses. Describe what type of student your child tends to be—quiet and reserved, or restless and talkative, for instance.
- Share Your Vision and Goals for Your Child’s Education
Let the teachers know what your goals are for your child’s education—both the long-term vision, such as being accepted to a four-year college, and the shorter term goals such as strengthening reasoning skills, mastering complex mathematics, sharpening their writing ability, etc.
- Tell the Teacher About Your Home Environment
Share the household routines related to homework, studying, reviewing for tests, etc., and ask the teacher how that might relate to their homework and test requirements.
- Create a Partnership
Let the teacher know that you are partners in working towards your child’s educational growth and success. Assure them that you will be available and responsive if issues or problems arise, and that you will not automatically take your child’s side in a dispute or disagreement. Your job is to be as calm and objective as possible, and to recognize that no child is a perfect angel, even yours! At the same time, if the teacher is problematic or your child isn’t getting what they need, reach out to school administrators to address the issue. Above all, let the teacher and your child know that you are working together as a team.
- Keep the Lines of Communication Open
No matter how great a teacher is, they can’t read your mind, or your child’s mind. Let them know what you’re thinking, what you’re concerned about, and what you’re observing in your child related to their class. There are more ways to communicate than ever: email, phone, notes, and in person. Ask the teacher how they prefer to keep in touch, and never assume that they have information you haven’t provided. And don’t just reach out about the challenges—be sure to share positive feedback about the teacher, student and school as well!
To paraphrase the popular proverb, it takes a village to educate a child. You and your child’s teacher are, in many ways, the leaders of that village and the more closely you work together, the better educational experience your child is likely to have.
We’re ready for a great school year building better relationships with you and your child. We know that you’re ready too! Richland Northeast High School – it is The Right Direction.