Knowing how to talk to your child’s teacher is a valuable skill you’re going to need throughout the early school years, and even in high school. If heading into the classroom sends waves of anxiety through you, remember this person isn’t your teacher. You’re working together to ensure that your child gets the best education possible, so if you get the call to visit the school, make sure you know how to talk to your child’s teacher for the best results.
1. Be Respectful
This can be hard if you’re angry about something that happened in the classroom, such as an unfair grade or unkind words toward your child. However, it’s vital to stay respectful when you talk to the teacher. This should be your main goal when it comes to how to talk to your child’s teacher. Use a respectful tone and words to discuss the issue and come to a resolution together.
2. Ask Questions
As much as you might like to be there all day, you simply can’t. That means you’re going to have to ask the teacher questions to get a clear picture of what’s going at school. This includes how to assess your child’s need for extra help, how to identify his strengths and how to work with him at home to resolve problems with peers. If your child comes to you with issues, ask the teacher what she’s witnessed so you can work on fixing what’s wrong and encouraging what’s right.
3. Express Appreciation
Nothing makes an over-worked teacher feel great like compliments on how she’s doing with your child. Maybe she relates well to him, or gave him a second chance to fix a mistake. Instead of only contacting the teacher when something goes wrong, call or send her a quick email to let her know you appreciate what she did. This goes a long way toward forming a close working relationship with your child’s teacher.
Listening is just a natural part of talking. When you interact with your child’s teacher, be sure to stop talking long enough to hear what she has to say. Maybe she has advice or good news that you’ll miss if you don’t stop going on and on during your meeting.
5. Be Prepared
If you’re heading in to talk to your child’s teacher about something serious, like grades or behavior problems, it’s a good idea to be prepared. If you have certain things you want to mention or discuss or have specific questions, write them down beforehand. This way you won’t leave the meeting and realize you forgot to talk about something important.
6. Share What’s Happening at Home
I’m not talking about the day to day minutiae, but if something big happens, letting your child’s teacher know can really help him when he’s at school. Divorce, a death or move to a new house qualify as little nuggets you probably want to the let the teacher in on. That way, she has an idea of why your child might be sad or acting out more often than usual.
7. Don’t Get Defensive
This can be really hard when you’re discussing your child’s weaknesses. Hearing what your child isn’t good at can really make your mama bear instincts come out! I know this! However, it’s not a good idea to claim your child is perfect and refuse to talk about anything he isn’t the top performer at. After all, he’s perfect to you, but you have to remember that he isn’t to everyone else. So stay objective and open to ideas on how to help your child improve.
Does talking to the teacher make you nervous? How do you deal with it?