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One of the most important things that will help your child have a successful year at school is keeping an open line of communication with their teacher. You want them to respond to your questions and concerns, plus you want them to come to you whenever they have a concern about your child. Good communication with your child's teacher is always a win-win situation.
Unfortunately, it doesn't always come easy. You're busy. Teachers are busy. Sometimes you just can't connect. Wires get crossed. Notes get crumpled up and left at the bottom of a backpack.
All is not lost. Here are some simple tips to keep that line of communication open:
1. Be a loyal backpack checker. The backpack is where you'll find so much important stuff: homework, permission slips, newsletters, special dates, notes from the teacher... well, you get the picture. This is an easy way for the teacher to tell you important information, so do your part and check every day. We are very fortunate that our school helps our kids learn organization skills. They usually provide a special folder and planner every year to help with communication. If your school doesn't provide something, get a pocket folder that your child can keep in their backpack. This will help keep homework and notes from getting squished the the bottom.
2. Find out your teacher's preferred means of communication. We have a teacher this year who is fantastic with electronic communication. We get text reminders and electronic newsletters. Email is the perfect way to communicate. Email is so often the preferred form of communication, but it's not for everyone. Ask and find out how the teacher prefers you to contact them. When at all possible, use that way to contact them.
3. Be succinct. In this day and age, we're all busy. Keep that in mind when dealing with your child's teacher. Be brief and to the point in your conversations with the teacher. They love your child and know you have all sorts of great stories to tell. But, if you only have a 15 minute meeting and need to address a concern, by all means get to the meat of the matter first.
4. Listen. This one can be a tough one. It's so hard to hear anything negative about our children. (I can be so guilty about this!) But, try your best to keep an open mind and remind yourself that your child's teacher really does care about them and their success in school. Listen, then work together. Your child can only benefit from this approach.
Hopefully, you've had good experiences through the years with teachers. (We certainly have.) Keep these tips in mind and keep those lines of communication open.
The Bloggers for Public Education are talking communication this month. Check out the rest of the posts below:
10 Practical Ways to Communicate With Your Child's Teacher at Books and Giggles
Seven Insider Tips for Getting Good Results When Communicating with Your Child's Teacher at Thriving STEM
Keeping an Open Communication with Teachers – Free Teacher Note Printable at 3 Dinosaurs
The How and Why of Communicating with Your Child's Teacher at The Resourceful Mama
Teachers Are From Mars, Parents Are From Venus at Planet Smarty Pants