Developing an open line of communication with your child’s teacher is paramount for a successful school year. But talking with your child’s teacher can be, well, intimidating! Here are some tips to make it less scary and a lot more productive!
Talking with Your Child’s Teacher
When it comes to talking with your child’s special ed or general ed teacher, there are three things that will help you develop that ever-important relationship.
1. Establish Communication Early On in the School Year
The beginning of the school year is a busy time for parents and teachers alike. Open the lines of communication early though to establish a relationship. Just a quick email or note can make a world of difference and let the teacher know that you are on top of your child’s education.
If your child’s teacher sends home a welcome postcard or newsletter with her email address on it, don’t hesitate to reach out before school even begins to say hello.
The first interaction should be encouraging, respectful, and enthusiastic about the upcoming school year. Avoid making demands or spilling out all of your child’s needs; just saying hello and that you’re looking forward to working together can be a huge step forward.
2. Always Assume the Teacher Has Your Child’s Best Interest at Heart
Your child’s teacher did not get into the field of special education because she didn’t want children to do their best. In fact, she most likely got into special ed because she wanted to make a difference and help children succeed.
Always assume that she has your child’s best interest at heart and wants to see him do well in her classroom and any other classes that he may have.
While she may not do things exactly as you would do, plan for her to be a cheerleader and advocate for your child as well. She wants what’s best for him! So, try to see all correspondence from that point of view.
3. Be Respectful – Always.
When emotions are heated and you are concerned about your child, sometimes there is a tendency to let your tone and word choice fall away from being respectful. Don’t do that.
No matter how much you disagree with a decision, be respectful. Your child is watching your attitude toward his teacher and if you’re badmouthing her or being disrespectful in other ways, he sees that.
You don’t have to like the decisions that were made or the ideas that are proposed, but treating your child’s teacher respectfully should always be a given.
What have you found to be the most beneficial when talking with your child’s teacher? Are there tips or tricks that have worked well for you when building rapport and an open line of communication? If so, share with us in the comments below! We would love to learn how you have made talking with your child’s teacher a work of art!