The large part of a child’s time is divided between home and school, and interactions between family and teachers. It only makes sense that the channels of communication between these two basic segments of a child’s life be kept open.
A good understanding between the parents and a child’s teachers can help foster a better environment for learning and can also help the child experience fewer pressures associated with school and learning.
Parents and teachers making disclosures about problems or difficulties that a child may be encountering in school or at home can help both get a better insight into the child.
The child is, after all, more than just the sum of his school behavior, his conduct at home and his test scores – they are just indications, they are not what the child really is, or what his dreams, aspirations and problems are.
The Oprah website suggests some useful guidelines for parent teacher relationships –
- Initiate communication using the proper channels – if you have a problem with the teacher, don’t go over his or her head to the principal; rather meet with or call the teacher first and try and discuss things face to face to try and get the teachers’ version of things.
- Don’t turn up unannounced at school to meet the teacher. Not only may this be against school policy, it could also appear impolite and confrontational. Send a note beforehand requesting a meeting.
- Teach your child good habits regarding punctuality, regular attendance at school politeness and so on.
- Repose faith in the teacher – they are trained to do what they do, and have a lot experience doing it. But also understand that the teacher has limitations too – your child is one among many that the teacher has to deal with.
Also it is important to be non confrontational and pleasant with a teacher. You may have come to discuss a problem that you have with the teacher, but begin politely and positively and get the facts without losing your cool.
Then put forth your point of view and have a rational discussion to get to a solution rather than getting angry or pinning blame. Communication with your child’s teacher is the key to making sure that your child has the best possible time in school and is getting the most out of his or her time there.
While parents have the right to expect updates from a teacher about their child – their child’s progress, suggestions for improvement, communication of any academic or personal problems; it is important to remember that a teacher is a sensitive human being as well.
He or she may also feel bad when a child displays rude or truculent behavior or when the child doesn’t do well in spite of the teacher’s best efforts.
Don’t consign the teacher into the role of a villain; tact is very important to use when dealing with a teacher and it is also important to treat them with respect, and care about their thoughts and feelings and their point of view as well.