Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Back to School Week: Getting to know your child's teacher

Today's post for our "Back to School" special series is all about getting to know your child's teacher and the importance of developing good communication with every educator that somehow touches your child's life.

School is usually one of the first places in which a child's behavior and education success are shaped and teachers are carriers of positive or negative messages that will help or hurt your child's development.  Whether we like it or not, some kids spend more times with their teachers than they spend with their parents and that is why getting to know your child's teacher should be one of your main priorities.....
Let's face it, not all teachers are great; some are amazing but some of them are people who we would never befriend if it wasn't because we HAVE to but we always have to make the best of it. As parents we must put our best effort forth into fostering a positive relationship with our children's teachers and in order to do that we have to know what questions to ask and what expectations to have.
Generally speaking, we have been lucky with the teachers the girls have had; with the exception of a couple, most of them have been friendly and extremely dedicated to our children's success; also having a sister who is a teacher I know first hand that it is an overly demanding and exhausting job so we must always be careful when judging a teacher's decision on any given circumstance.

As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, getting involved in your child's school is one of the keys to a successful school year; most teachers appreciate parents who are willing to help and participate in school activities as well as parents who are involved in their child's academic achievements and progress.  It is very evident when a parent is involved in homework, school project and such and it helps teachers to know that the expectations at home are consistent with those at school.

The following are some of the questions that parents should ask teachers in an effort to get to know them better and help children achieve all academic goals throughout the year. No matter how young or old your child is, getting to know their teachers is THE MOST important thing you can do as a parent when it comes to school success! :)
  • What are your academic standards?
  • How do you respond to a child struggling in class?
  • What are the most complex ideas my child needs to understand?
  • What can I do to support literacy at home?
  • What kind of questions should I ask my child on a daily basis?
  • How do you personalize learning in the classroom?
  • What is the daily schedule and routine?
  • How is academic progress measured in your class?
  • What learning models to plan to use this year?
  • What should I NOT do at home?
  • How is behavior rewarded/punished in the classroom?
  • What is the best way to communicate with you? Phone? Email?
  • How often are parent-teacher conferences held throughout the year?
  • What are the classroom rules?
I am sure most teachers will be willing to answer these questions  and I am also sure that their responses will help all parents have a better understanding of the expectations for the year and to have peace of mind.  NEVER be afraid of asking questions and DON'T be shy when getting to know your child's teacher. Keep in mind that a teacher becomes part of the family and he/she is an integral part of your child's success.  
Also, don't be timid when setting expectations or demands for the teacher; keep in mind that ultimately YOU are the main authority in your child's life.  

Happy Blogging! :)

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