Everyone wants their child to have a fun, happy, and successful school year. It’s an important goal for parents and teachers alike! We’ve created a quick list of suggestions that can be used as your guide to begin the year with confidence, peace of mind, and a plan.
Creating partnerships with teachers and school leaders is one of the most important things you can do to ensure your child’s needs are being met. Start forming these relationships right away and continue to develop them throughout the year. Having a clear understanding of expectations is key and communicating your child’s individual needs and strengths sets the stage for success.
- Connect with school leaders: Introduce yourself. Make sure they know you and your child.
- Know the school’s policies and procedures: Every family receives a handbook. Look it over carefully and talk with a school leader if you have any questions.
- Meet all the teachers: Find out who will be interacting with your child each day. Introduce yourself to anyone who feels unfamiliar.
- Partner with the teacher: Share any concerns you have so the teacher is aware and can focus more intently on those matters. Share some of your child’s likes and dislikes to help the teacher get to know and understand them.
- Learn the classroom routine: Every classroom and every teacher are slightly different. If this is a new classroom, talk to the teacher about what you can expect. Ask about the daily routine and what your child will be doing throughout the day.
- Share your talents: Families are always welcome. Let your child’s teacher know if you would like to share a talent, a family tradition, or just want to help out in the classroom.
Ongoing communication is critical in helping your child be successful. It is through conversations and the sharing of experiences that you and your child’s teacher can work together to help your child learn and grow. There are many ways to engage and communicate. Some are informal and happen daily, while others are more formal and occur during planned times throughout the year.
- Daily interactions: If you have questions or needs, be sure to address them with the teacher at any time. When you drop off your child, let the teacher know about any pertinent information they might need to know for that day. When you pick your child up, be sure to ask the teacher specific questions about your child's day.
- Family communications app: If your school has a family communications tool, make sure you check in every day to see updates and information about your child’s experiences and learning.
- Family Wall: Your child’s classroom may have a Family Wall where you will find a daily schedule, lesson plan, and news about things happening in the classroom.
- Family/Teacher Conference: Conferences give teachers an opportunity to share more about your child’s experiences in the classroom. It is also a time to discuss how your child is growing socially, emotionally, developmentally, and academically. Remember, teachers are here to partner with you to support your child’s success. They want each child to feel safe and to make sure they are having a good experience. This is your chance to ask questions and talk about your child’s strengths and needs.
- Portfolios: Many teachers will have a portfolio to share with you during your conference. The items included in the portfolio reflect your child’s experiences and development in the classroom. You might find developmental tracking forms, photos, or work samples. This type of documentation helps paint a picture of how your child is growing and what they are learning.
Keep the lines of communication open. Do not be shy about asking questions or sharing information. Remember, teachers and school leaders are there to support you and work with you through every aspect of your child’s growth and development.