Whether your child is starting at a new school or just a new school year, the chances are they will have a new class teacher or, in the case of secondary school, a team of new teachers.
If you get to know the staff a little, it will be easier to support your child when they do homework, have any questions about school or need you to speak to the school about any problems.
Read on for useful advice on how to develop positive relationships with your child’s new class teacher.
1. Be friendly
Make the effort to establish a relationship from the first day of school. Say “hello” in the mornings and comment on the activities when you see something you like – teachers seldom get thanked for their work and a little praise goes a long way.
You might remember your old teacher as a fire-breathing dragon, but now you are an adult too, you should realise they are only human and doing their best in a difficult job.
2. Make an appointment
Never discuss a serious issue with a teacher ‘on the run’. If there’s something important you want to discuss, or an issue that needs immediate attention, arrange a time to see the teacher. It will show them that you value their time and want to discuss something in a productive manner.
3. Be positive
Walk into a parent-teacher meeting with an open manner and positive attitude – don’t go in there expecting a fight!
Plan in advance what you want to say and what results you’d like to get. Also remember to listen to what they have to say. They spend a lot of time with your child in a different environment, so they will be able to offer a new, valuable perspective.
4. Deal with issues quickly
If something is bothering you or your child, address it as soon as you can. Approach it with an open mind and find out what the school’s version of events is too, but don’t let the issue linger.
5. Know who to talk to
When an issue arises concerning your child, always start with the class teacher. However, if the issue continues and is serious enough, you can ask to meet with the school head or deputy.
6. Do your homework
Don’t see parent evenings as an inconvenience; see them as a valuable opportunity to find out more about your child. Take some time beforehand to make a list of topics you would like to discuss and any questions you may have. For more tips, read our article on How to maximize your time at parents evening.
7. Show your support
Make sure your child’s teacher or teachers know you are always happy to hear about how you can help or support their work through what you do at home. It’s important that you work with your teachers, rather than against them, as this sets a good example for how your children should treat them, too.
If your child keeps trying to skip school, speak to their teachers about why they might be unhappy. Also read our articles on When is your child sick enough to miss school? and How to spot an unhappy child.
Do you have a good relationship with your kid’s teacher? Share your secrets in the comments section below.