Parents in Action: Teacher/parent communication

TAMPA - When a teacher calls home, your child might tend to think that they're in trouble. But actually, parent-teacher communication is vital to your child's education. Research has shown that children do better in school when their parents and teachers are involved and communicate often. By touching base regularly you have the opportunity to stay abreast of your child's education.

With busy work and after school schedule though, you may find it difficult to keep tabs on how your child is doing at school. Here are some viable but time-efficient ways to help you be up-to-date on what's going on at school.

Plan a Quarterly Phone Call
Although every school is different, a common practice is for teachers to meet once a year with parents to discuss their child's development, growths and if any areas of concern arise. Although meeting multiple times a year can be difficult for already strained teachers, scheduling a five minute phone call with them around report card time each quarter is an efficient way of keeping tabs on how your child is doing. This quarterly chat will also give you a chance to discuss their recent report card grades as well as any other pressing matters.

Devote Some Time to Volunteering    
A unique way to keep lines of communication flowing between school and home is to volunteer some time each month at your child's school by becoming involved in parent-teacher organizations like booster clubs. This will give you a chance to interact with teachers and other parents outside the classroom environment. In addition to volunteering your time regularly you'll also play an active part in decisions made regarding your child's education through meetings. By devoting one day a month to being visible to teachers and other parents, you show your child that you care about their education.

Be Available via Email
Email really is the quickest and simplest way to keep in close contact with teachers during the busy school year. It's a great way to touch base regarding weekly or monthly occurrences like homework questions or classroom updates. But be careful not to become the pestering parent. A lot of times you'll be able to get answers to most of your questions from another child's parents. Leave these email communication for questions that can only be answered by the teacher.

There are so many benefits to having an open dialogue with teachers and they even go beyond academic says Diane Levin, Ph.D., professor of education at Wheelock College. "A positive parent-teacher relationship helps your child feel good about school and be successful in school," said Dr. Levin.

Sources:

TBParenting.com
Scholastic.com
PBS.org
Urban.Illinois.edu
 

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