A teacher not only educates children, but also takes on the role of a guide, counsellor and caretaker. With so much responsibility resting on the shoulders of a teacher, it would serve you well to maintain a cordial relationship with your child’s teacher.
A good relationship with your child’s class teacher will help establish better communication lines, motivate both your child and the teacher, and improve academic performance and attendance.
With so much to gain from a good parent–teacher relationship, let’s look at how you can forge a good rapport with your child’s class teacher.
- Meet the teacher: Most of the time, the foundation of a good and long-lasting relationship is laid down by a face-to-face meeting. So, make it a point to meet your child’s class teacher at the start of the school year. During the first meeting, try to find out when and how to contact the teacher during the rest of the year.
- Keep things positive: Your child is an important part of your relationship with the teacher. So, teach your child to respect her teacher. You can ensure this by modelling it yourself by not speaking negatively about the teacher in front of your child. There may be times when your child would come home upset and complain that the teacher was unfair. Even on such occasions, remember not to say anything demeaning about her teacher.
- Do not brag: Your child may be good in studies, even a genius, but that doesn’t mean that you go overboard praising your child in front of his teacher. Sometimes, such an attitude may make a teacher feel that you do not appreciate her efforts or that you are challenging her to prove herself better than your child.
- Express your appreciation: Everyone loves being appreciated for what they are doing and your child’s teacher is no exception. When you visit your child’s school, stop by the office of the teacher’s supervisor or the principal and tell them how much you appreciate the teacher’s efforts. If it is not possible for you to convey your appreciation in person, you can also send a letter expressing your feelings.
- Do not generalise: If your child has a problem, point it out to the teacher during the meeting. Also, approach the teacher with a pleasant demeanour and a positive frame of mind. Try to focus on the problem and come up with a solution in consultation with the teacher. Also, when you suggest something, try to follow it up with an example to help the teacher understand it better. Do not ever make sweeping statements like, “You are not paying attention to my child,” or “The way you teach does not suit the children.”
- Keep the relationship formal: Do not try to socialise with your child’s teacher outside the school. For, it is always easier to keep your emotions in check and voice your concerns or complaints when the person seated opposite to you is not your friend. Also, desist from sending costly gifts to your child’s teacher during occasions like Teacher’s Day, her birthday or your child’s birthday.
Although establishing a relationship with your child’s class teacher may seem difficult at first, once you put in genuine efforts it will become easy. Taking time out to meet the teacher and showing an interest in supporting her efforts will not only establish a good parent–teacher relationship, but also help your child’s education.