Most of us in the parenting game are in our back to school mode. Some states are back in session and the rest of us are getting ready to return after Labor Day. That means we have about three weeks left to get it in. Whatever that means…
Although we have three weeks we can’t wait until the last minute to get things together. We’ve already purchased school uniforms, that makes the back to school rather uneventful for us. LittleCuteLips has the same uniform as last year, we just need bigger sizes. The Man-Child is headed to High School so his uniform colors have changed. Nevertheless, they wear black shoes and they have last years book bags. Done and done!
This morning on Good Morning Washington we discussed balancing the parent, teacher relationship. I am nine years into the school game so I have the parent-teacher relationship down.
5 Tips for Maintaining the Parents Teacher Relationship
Tip #1: Be engaged
Attend the back to school night or orientation. Introduce yourself to the teacher and let them know what child belongs to you. This lets them know that someone is checking for this child on a regular basis. Read: Don’t treat them any kind of way because I’m involved, and I don’t mind showing up.
Tip #2: Establish Expectations
After introducing yourself give them your email address and let them know that they can communicate with you at any time. Ask for their email address [asking for a cell number is a bit forward. Don’t ask if they don’t suggest it.] Let them know that in order for your child to be their best the three [child+teacher+parent] of you have to be a team.
Tip #3: Volunteer
This goes beyond tip #1. Don’t only show up at the beginning of the year or only in their inbox. Actually, show up in other ways. Chaperone a field trip. Donate a case of water to the football team. Read a book at story time. Work the book fair. Bring in treats [Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, etc.]
Tip #4: Don’t be a jerk parent
Don’t only reach out to the teacher when you feel your child has been wronged in some way. Don’t only email the teacher with complaints. Don’t only show up at the school pissed off about something. Don’t think your cute child won’t tell you a bold face lie. Don’t be so quick to pop off. See tip #2
Tip #5: Empower your children
Don’t be so quick to get involved. Teach your children how to manage some of their issues and or concerns. They need to learn to be effective communicators, this is a great time to teach them. Ask them questions, make them think before you jump in to solve or handle the situation. If they have new ideas encourage them to share them with the teacher. They might surprise you.
Watch the segment and see what other tips we gave. One of the Mom’s on the panel is also a teacher.
What has your experience been like? What was your experience as a student? Chat with me in the comments below or FB, IG, and Twitter.
Sheena Steward says
These are all great tips to help cultivate healthy parent/teacher relationship. I loved the video and agree with what you said about email communication and even the app. But the lady with 7 kids. I’ll say a prayer for her during this school year lol.
I am cracking up laughing, that is a lot of keeping up. hahahahaha
Antoinette Cain says
I also maintain contact with my kids’ teachers via email. It’s so important to establish a relationship. I believe that it makes the kiddos feel good to know that their parents have an interest in their education.
Yes, I think so too.
These are great tips. I agree that volunteering helps a lot. I have been the class parent and class parent coordinator as well as PTA President. Being a present parents makes a world of a difference
Yes! I actually enjoyed being the Class Mom for my son’s class.
Stacie Branson says
Now this is helpful. I’m not a jerk parent but I will go to bat for my kids. When I do, I see things change so it must be working.
Yes, you should advocate for your children for sure. Just make sure you don’t only reach out to them when you aren’t in agreement.
I think you hit the nail on the head when you advised “don’t be a jerk parent.” Often those rattled kids act just like their rattled parents.
Yes! Then you never come to a resolve because you know your parents are simply going to get “buck” with the teacher either way.
EG III says
Great tips. I think most important is being engaged. I can recall how terrible I was as a student and, in hindsight, I believe I was just acting out in order to get the attention of my parents.
Hmmmm, that is a very real perspective. Thank you for sharing your truth.
I think it’s great that they do segments like this. Some moms and dads just don’t consider taking such steps at the beginning of the school year.
Thanks. I agree, I think it is important to sent the tone from the start.
These are great tips. My mom was a teacher and when we got older she became involved in my little sister’s PTA team. It’s a lot of work, but when you establish a good relationship early on, it helps. Some parents aren’t involved at all and it is kind of sad. Teachers invest so much in your children’s lives.
Joanna, I was shocked when I saw how parents just did not care. I still don’t get it, but I do try to celebrate other kids while I celebrate my own. It is sad to see them in tears because their parents could not or did not show.
Lawd I’m so not ready for this but these are great tips. I’m already telling myself don’t be THAT parent. With my step daughter I took a backseat to what her parents wanted but now…I will be all over it!
Yes, so long as you are in the loop everything will be just fine.
Nanekia Ansari says
Love this! Taking it a step farther one of my tips was to make sure you engage with the people in the school’s office they are just as important as the teachers.
Yes! I totally agree. I believe in speaking to everyone. The Elementary Secretary has held us down over the years, we love her.
Tanay Michele says
We’re only going into pre-k but these are great tips and so important! Fingers crossed for good cooperative teachers this year!
That is so sweet and fun. Cheers to a great school year.
I love when you make it on Good Morning Washington go girl! Great tips especially for back to school season it is important for parents to have a relationship with the teachers too!
Thanks, I freaking love TV. I love sharing and connecting with people.
Tomiko Harvey says
girl, school has only been in two weeks and I already had to be ugly but it was with the cheer coach. I lost my cool and showed my behind. hopefully, we can move past this but I was not a happy camper.
Girl! Relationships with the coaches and administrative professionals all count. Sometimes it is tough, but you have to establish boundaries early on.
Yes, letting the teacher know there is someone at home who is engaged is so important.
It really makes a difference. So many kids get “lost” in the mix because nobody is checking on them.
Tiffany Haywood says
Really great tips Mimi!! I just had my oldest daughter’s Middle School Open House last night (I’m still in denial) and the first thing I did was let the teachers know I want to be in the loop. I think sometimes they hesitate to reach out but I am definitely an involved mom. I also signed up for the PTA – I think being involved is key to staying aware of how your child is involved at school.
You are on it, being involved is the best way for sure. You know exactly what is going on in all areas. I will be joining the PTA at both schools.
These are great tips especially the one about letting kids manage what’s happening. A great way to get them started on being their own advocates. I actually became room mom and joined the school board so that I would always be involved.
I love that, those are great way to be in the know.
Carissa Godbott says
These are great tips! I am the volunteer parent and the one that stays in constant communication. I want to hear the good and bad, so I make sure to stay in contact often!
Yes, you are on top of your game.
Tip #5: Empower your children is spot on. I love how you advice parents, “Don’t be so quick to get involved.” This is a lesson that we have to learn so our kids will be equipped with how to handle themselves when we aren’t around.
Yes! We always run to save them, and forget to give them a chance to handle it.
My husband and I talk frequently about being involved parents once our son starts school. And I’m glad you mentioned not asking for a cell number. Even when people offer their personal number for these types of things, I try my best not to utilize it unless necessary.
I think teachers needs to establish boundaries and personal numbers should be a part of that. Kudos to you guys for have the conversation.
These are some great back to school tips for parents. I always enjoy watching your TV segments!
Thank you, I love doing TV and sharing.
Reminds me of back in the days lol I don’t have kids yet but I will share with my sister and I like the tip number 5.
Thanks, I appreciate that. Yes, we need to teach our children how to manage their own life with our guidance. I want my children to be independent.
Fekara @ School Management Software says
I love the way you describe the topic, thank for this highly helpful article.
You are welcome.
MasterSoft ERP says
Great Tips! Adding one that there should be a communication media between teachers and parents. With School App, parents can share their concerns and views regarding studying habits of children and make the teachers aware of the academic problems the children face in school but hesitate in apprising to teachers.
I agree, we use Class Dojo to communicate with teachers on the Elementary School level. On the High School level, we just use email to communicate.