How to Have a Productive Talk with Your Child’s Teacher

How to Have a Productive Talk with Your Child’s Teacher

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Communication with the teachers…

Talking to my kids’ teacher always gave me butterflies to my stomach. You see, teachers are the people who will spend a lot of time with my children during the school year.

I know for sure what I want from them: to understand, to teach, to support, to help my child. And these expectations are just the beginning. Deep in my heart, I want them to take care of my children, to be there for them when they have meltdowns, or when it’s harder to cooperate with them. I know my kids, and even though there is no one in the whole world better than them, sometimes, or maybe more often, they have their own uncooperative moments. And now, their teachers have at least 20 kids in their classes: each and everyone different, with their own world, problems, family situations. I truly believe that teachers are very special people with amazing capacities and wonderful qualities. I am amazed how they teach year by year without quitting with so much pressure. To me, teachers are strong people!

Have you ever watched Spider Man? Peter Parker was just a kid, but because of that spider bite, he became a saver! Watching all of the parts, we could see that even though he was a hero, Spider Man had meltdowns, problems, emotions, and needed to be loved, supported, and helped.

Now, you might think: what does this have to do with teachers?

Bare with me and I will explain.

As I said, I had my own expectations for the teachers, but I was kind of avoiding to ask what were their expectations towards me. I am a mom of three kids, with a baby, and everything it’s basically on my shoulders (poor husband have to work a lot, too), I really didn’t want any more tasks on my plate.

Before, I have talked to other parents, and many expressed their ideas of the teachers and often it sounded like: they are paid for their job. That is true, but it still didn’t give me a piece of mind. Why?  Well, I am the mom of my children, and when my husband offers to stay with them so I could have a moment for myself, I am all for it. Or if he could watch them so I can finish my chores and not be constantly interrupted, I am in for that too.  And I love my kids, don’t get me wrong. I truly believe that there is nothing in this world that could bring more joy and happiness than children; and still it’s a lot of work to look after and teach children. That said, I don’t think that any money can really cover all of the work the teachers do with our kids, especially emotional work.

To me, teachers are like Spider Man. And time to time they might need my help to perform their best for my kids, and for yours as well. Besides, teachers are humans, and I don’t know any human who doesn’t need help, understanding, or support, at least sometimes. Don’t you agree? If you were the teacher, what would you want and appreciate mostly? Except for the parents to be on time to pick up their treasures when the school day ends.

This year, I approached the teachers on the second day of school and asked for five minutes of their time. Both teachers agreed and I had now the possibility to express my expectations and hear theirs.

My intention was to find how to help my child by helping his teacher. So, I made a list of questions I wanted to ask before the open house, or the conferences in October.

Time to act

You can always Print the List  for your convenience:

10 Questions to Ask Your Child’s Teacher before the Open House or Conference:

  1. What are the expectations for the upcoming year?
  2. Will there be any Homework?
  3. What about Reading?
  4. Any specific books that my child should read?
  5. Mathematics – any resources to help my child practice?
  6. What are the best ways to help during the year?
  7. What type of snacks and drinks aren’t the best to have in the class?
  8. Do you have anything planned for this year as far as parents engagement? What is expected? ( example: last year I was scheduled to read for the kids, my husband – talked to the kids about his job).
  9. What is your point of view towards surprise parties? Are cupcakes, cakes, candies, etc. ok to bring?
  10. Anything else you would want or expect from me and my child this year?

Feel the benefits

Being prepared for your teacher-parent meeting will help you and the teacher to set specific goals, and you always can came home and review them, and they will lead to other goals and points you need to consider to help your child to be happy and productive at school.

One thing I keep in mind is that when I feel supported, I could probably move the mountains, and that is what I want the teachers to feel: my support and appreciation!  Imagine now, if all the parents would show appreciation, and be ready to support, to help – yes she will move about 23 mountains she is teaching that year.

Let me know what do you think about it and if you have any other suggestions on how to support and appreciate teachers.

 

Alina

 

 

 

12 Replies to “How to Have a Productive Talk with Your Child’s Teacher”

  1. I love staying in close contact with my kids’ teachers. Like you mentioned, they have our kids for ___ hours a day. I want to know they are invested in helping my child through his struggles and will also just as likely celebrate his successes. I also want to know how to support our teachers’ efforts from home – they don’t have endless resources and aren’t able to follow each child home to make sure that the important tasks are being completed. I have found that most of my kids’ teachers have been very receptive to me staying in close contact. Only a couple of been a little resistant to it, and I don’t believe that it’s a coincidence that those were tough years for my kids.

    1. Yes, I can’t agree more! We had one teacher that was a lot different than the others and our child struggled and wanted to be moved to another class. I tried my best to see what was the issue, never found out, but I guess she has a different personality and maybe didn’t really wanted help. I noticed that she was having a good time with one of the parents that was different from all of us too. But that’s ok now, it passed! This year is very productive to us so far.
      I will be posting soon an article on how to help teachers from home. I have already completed some of the class needs, but need to gather some more information, so stay with me, maybe you could see anything valuable to you.

  2. This is a good article. I am really struggling personally with this right now as my son has just started preschool and his teacher and I are not seeing eye to eye. I hope that, with time, and communication we will make it through this year and only improve our relationship for the sake of my child.

    http://www.thepursuitofplay.com

    1. Thank you, I had this struggle before and in this article I tried to express my own experience! It will get easier in time, and all the teachers my kids had so far, they were all open to discussion. They love the parents that are trying their best to help their kids. You can always see this article http://ahsimply.com/2017/09/08/teacher-appreciation-simple-things-mighty-feelings/ as an idea on how to show appreciation and open the teacher toward you – after all, teachers are just humans with their own anxiety.

    1. Thank you Jamie! We can’t wait for that back to school night as well. From my experience- that night is very busy. This is why I encourage my readers to do it prior or after- the teacher just won’t have time to do it all at that time. We, also, want to let all the parents to have their moments with the teacher, for pictures or whatever 🙂

What are your thoughts?

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