Our contributor shares the most effective ways to communicate with your child’s teachers… parent-teacher meetings will be a breeze!
Communication – it has an awesome power. Just think back to the last time that you really connected to your child’s teacher. What comes to mind? Were you and the teacher working as a team with common goals? Good communication can help your child get the competitive edge in school.
As a teacher, it’s never easy to admit defeat and call for help, but schools understand that the educational support offered by parents is exactly what empowers these schools to function at their peak levels. Chances are that you’re also in the work force collaborating with others daily. Yet, despite your expertise in the working world, when a school shifts the responsibility back over to the parent, it is not always clear on how to respond. Here are five tips on how to do that more effectively.
5 tips for better communication with your child’s teachers:
- Clear your mind. Being involved requires both cognitive and emotional effort. It is important to keep the conversations as solution-focused as possible. This keeps the collective focus on the behavior, not the anger or guilt about the behavior.
- Set a goal. Ask: What is the problem? How is it impacting their schooling? What needs to be done to improve? When does this need to happen? As a rule of thumb, set a goal that can be achieved within the month.
- Get support from the school. Once you have the information above, and you have set a goal for your child, ask the school to support it. Ask them for strategies; share your strategies with them.
- Follow up. After 1-2 weeks, send a follow up message to ask if they have noticed any improvement. If they have not, ask them to set a more appropriate goal with you and ask them for the strategies that you can use at home to support that goal.
- Get help. If you and the school have unsuccessfully worked toward a few goals, seek the help of an educational consultant or learning enhancement teacher. These are not tutors; these are often teachers that are highly trained and often specialize in difficult cases.