Once you admit your child in a school, it becomes important to establish and maintain a clear channel of communication with his teacher. This is crucial for many reasons. It puts your anxieties to rest and helps you understand how well your child is progressing and the problem he is facing. Partnering with your child’s teacher, can help you support his learning and make it easier for him to succeed in school. Let’s look at how you should talk and build a constructive relationship with your child’s teacher.
Getting to know your child’s teacher:
For the first few days after admission, the thought of leaving their little one in the care of a stranger can be unsettling to many parents. Are you one such parent? Well, you can put your anxieties and fears to rest by connecting with your child’s teacher. Now, that we have told you what to do, are you wondering how to start a conversation with your child’s teacher? Don’t worry. These conversation starters will help you break the ice.
Begin a conversation by telling the teacher the words your child uses to express her needs like hunger, going to the toilet, feeling sleepy and so on, any health concerns she has, her temperament and personality. You can also ask the teacher about the curriculum, how the teacher will interact with children, safety, cleanliness and so on. Talking with the teacher on these points will help both you and the teacher to get to know each other.
Once your child has been in school for a period of time, the school will hold a parent–teacher meet to apprise you of your child’s development and progress. So, not only is it important to attend the meet but also know how to interact with the teacher.
During the parent–teacher meet, listen patiently to what the teacher has to say about your child. If the teacher raises some concerns about your child, don’t turn defensive. For example, if the teacher says that your child has got into a habit of pinching other kids, don’t defend your child by saying that he must have been provoked. Ask focused questions to understand the problem and come up with a solution. Tying to defend your child can make the teacher think that talking further about your child’s issues could lead to a confrontation. This can prevent the teacher from presenting the accurate picture.
Some of the points on which you should talk to the teacher during a parent–teacher meet are: How your child behaves in the class, does he interact with the teacher and other children, is he able to understand and follow instructions, what does he excel in, does he share things with others, and is he happy in school. Most important of all, ask the teacher what you can do at home to help your child improve.
Most parent–teacher meets are usually short and don’t allow a detailed conversation. In such cases, you can schedule a meeting with the teacher after regular school hours to talk at length. If for some reasons, you are unable to attend a parent–teacher meet, call up the school to arrange for an alternate date and time to meet the teacher.
Request for a meeting:
You start fearing the worst when you get a letter from your child’s school requesting you to come and meet the teacher. You start making plans about whether to stay calm and listen to what the teacher says, firmly defend your child or get into a confrontation. The bottom line is, you start panicking. Let’s look at how you can talk to the teacher in a constructive way.
The first thing to do is to stop worrying and compose yourself. Before you go to meet the teacher, try to find out from your child about the problem. Ask her questions which will help you understand her side of the story.
Once speaking to your child give you an idea, try to come up with the right questions to ask the teacher, which can help find a solution to the problem.
Adopting this approach will go a long way in establishing you as a positive parent who is willing to work with the teacher towards a solution.
If your child complains about the teacher:
Don’t brush off your child’s concerns about his school, classmates or teacher lightly. Often a preschooler complains about his teacher when the teacher tries to discipline him or prevents him from doing something he likes to do.
So, try to zero in on the issue by asking your child specific questions. If you come to the conclusion that your child is wrong and the teacher is right, make your child understand that it is in his best interests to listen to what his teacher is saying.
However, after listening to your child, if you feel that you should talk to his teacher, still remember to adopt a constructive approach. Try to apprise the teacher of your child’s anxieties, fears and concerns. However, if this doesn’t help, speak to the principal to come up with a solution.
It is important to build a healthy working relationship with your preschooler’s teacher as this would go a long way in ensuring that his preschool experience is a happy and successful one.