TIPS FOR GREAT PARENT-TEACHER PARTNERSHIPS
Take the time to truly get to know each teacher… it’s important to have a professional yet comfortable relationship with your child’s teacher so they feel comfortable having open dialogue with you about your family’s and child’s needs.
Remember to say thank you when you can. A small token of appreciation at an unexpected moment means the world to a teacher.
Remember to ask the teachers about themselves too (not in a ”being nosy” way!) – but you want to show that the relationship is truly reciprocated. Let them know that you’re interested and truly care about them. And there’s no limit on how many times you can say “thank you” – it goes a long way when you show how much of an impact a teacher may have on your family. My children are long graduated from Bright Horizons and we’re still in touch with many of the teachers.
Keep the conversation going. If your situation is like mine, your child’s teacher likely spends a lot of time with your child during the week. I start with some questions about my daughter’s habits and behaviors at school, but it’s also important and helpful to share her latest and greatest (or not so great) habits outside of school. My daughter’s teacher appreciates the heads up, and this usually becomes a broader conversation about what all the children have been doing and how she can work something into the day or week to tackle that. For example, together we learned that all the children in my daughter’s class have entered the dreaded “Mine!” stage, so her teacher has been focused on taking turns with a timer and sharing, and in turn my husband and I are also emphasizing this at home. This also demonstrates my appreciation for the impact she has on my child and that we do need to partner together on this parenting journey.
Acknowledge that conversations will often be short. While you may want the play-by-play of your child’s day, your child’s teacher is probably still juggling a dozen things and other children while you’re getting your child out the door. Aside from scheduling some specific time to talk about your child outside of the classroom, there’s bound to be a couple of opportunities where the stars align and it’s quiet enough to have a decent conversation at pick-up or drop-off.
I second what the other bloggers say: open communication! It’s so true. In my experience not only taking the time to ask about how my son’s day was, but also ask about the teachers, or their plans for the weekend really helps to solidify the relationship.
Embrace the differences. Home and school are two totally different environments for my son, each with its own rules. Where at home he might have to eat his veggies and proteins before fruit at school they are served on one plate for the sake of time. I have learned to love & adapt to these small differences and so has my son.
Always remember that they love your child. My son is so happy to be at school and knowing that plays an important role in how I choose to approach my partnership with his teachers. He loves them and they love him… it is that simple.