To all parents and future parents, here are some tips for a successful and pleasant parent/teacher relationship.
1. Communicate! Just like in any relationship, communication is key. This does not mean you should send a message through your child. Call, email, or write a note. Five year olds don't have the best memory. If something is going on, do not wait until the day before report cards to bring it up with the teacher.
2. Participate! When things are sent home for practice, work with your child to practice. If your child was able to sit and work on these skills alone, teachers would not be necessary. And yes, even if your child says they already did it, you should practice with them. Just as dentists can not hold all the responsibility for clean teeth, teachers can not hold all the responsibility for education. Same goes for behavior. If behavior is an issue, participate at home. If you make it clear that bad behavior is not tolerated, their school behavior will improve.
3. Ask! If an issue comes up, something is not understood, or you are in need of something- ASK. Do not tell. Do not force. Do not accuse. Do not attack. Ask for the teachers input. We are people. We do not work for you, so please do not treat us as employees.
4. Mind your tongue! If there is an issue in the class with the teacher, with a specials teacher, or with the school itself, do not discuss it with or in front of your child. Your negative attitude or lack of respect will rub off on your child. Guaranteed. Children should not discuss adult issues, so don't discuss it with them. The worst thing a teacher can hear is, "Well my MOM said that you..." I don't divulge your parenting issues to your child, and I expect the same respect.
5. Read! If something is sent home, read it. All of it. Do not blame your child's teacher for your lack of understanding due to not reading. (If you still don't understand after reading, see 3.)
6. Volunteer! Make yourself available as much as possible. For projects, parties, or even just for conferences. Let your child's teacher know that education is important to you. However, do not be a leech. Your child is now in school. What a perfect time to get a hobby. A hobby that does not include being up the teacher's butt.
7. Understand! Please know that while your child is special, precious, and totally lovely, they may also act differently at school. Your child will be held responsible for his/her decisions. Your child will not be treated with kid gloves because you have no hobby. (See 6.)
8. Respect! Respect that we have gone to school for this position. While we may not be perfect, most of us do everything in our power to help your child. While I am sure that you believe your child is gifted/not ADD/perfect/etc., please respect the teacher's opinion as a trained PROFESSIONAL.
9. Share! Just as you do not want to receive notes only when your child is bad, teachers do not want to only receive notes for problems. Are you noticing your child has become a super reader? Are they really enjoying school? Did they mention something funny? Share that with the teacher as well. Goodness knows we don't get paid enough, so kind notes go along way to make up the difference.
10. Prepare! Set your child up for success. Get them to school on time, dress them appropriately, work with them before Kindergarten, feed them meals that increase focus, discuss correct choices. YOU are an equal part in the ultimate success or failure of your child in school. Help them to put their best foot forward by making sure they are prepared.
Are you a parent? Print this out! Review it! Your child's teacher will be thankful.
Not a parent? Study now. Don't be a whacko. Trust me, they will talk about you in the lounge.