If teaching was show business, then your child’s teacher would get star billing. But don’t forget about the other major player whose role in your child’s education can help make it a smash success: Yes, you, the parent.
When parents and educators co-star in a child’s big show – a.k.a. school – everybody benefits: The teachers who can count on the support of active and involved parents, the parents who stays connected to their kids and school and, most important, the child whose parents and teachers are working in tandem
Educational research bears out the fact that academic achievement, attitude, and attendance improve measurably when parents are involved in their children’s schooling.
These first years of school are the ideal time to start developing connections with the teachers, the school staff, and even other parents. Here are ways to keep in touch with the teacher and be an active partner in your child’s education.
Meet the teacher
To get the school year off to a good start – and help the teacher get to know your child and your family – set up a meeting with your child’s teacher early in the year, even, if possible, before your child starts. Many teachers in the classroom in the days before school starts. Also, it’s often a more relaxed time for them. If you haven’t already gotten an email, call, or letter during the summer, contact the school office to find out the best way to get in touch with the teacher. (These days, most teachers find email works best.) When you meet, help the teacher get to know your child’s passions (“She loves animals.”), problems (“He’s great at puzzles, but freaks out if he can’t finish one.”), and any other issues that may prove challenging at school. (“My child has trouble sharing.”)
Ask the teacher how she likes best to communicate – email, phone calls, or even a notebook that goes back and forth between home and school. Many preschool teachers are open to writing notes about your child every once in a while to check in; kindergarten teachers with more students to oversee are less likely to. Parent-teacher conferences – which usually take place once each semester – offer a chance to have a more in-depth conversation about your child. During conferences, ask the teacher to describe your child’s strengths and weaknesses, and be sure to air any concerns you have. (Click here and here for more tips on preparing for a parent-teacher conference.)
To read the rest of the article: GreatSchools.org