PARENT TO TEACHER COMMUNICATIONS
It may seem intimidating to develop a relationship with your child’s teacher because we sometimes worry about coming across as being offensive or demanding when asking questions and expressing our needs. However, learning to reach out to teachers and other professionals is easier than one might think. It is simply a matter of developing a relationship. Once the relationship is established, needs, questions and expectations can more easily be communicated. One key to developing a good working relationship with your child’s teacher or caregiver is to spend more time with that person.
Probably the surest and most natural way to develop a relationship with your child’s teacher is to plan for proximity and time with the teacher. That means to be there in the classroom. The more time you spend with someone, the greater you will get to know them. So, making the time to be in the classroom is crucial to getting to know the teacher. You might arrive for drop off 20 minutes early at least once a week so that you have time to chat with the teacher and show your interest in what is going on in the classroom. You don’t need to have an agenda topic for discussion or be there for volunteer work necessarily. Simply giving yourself time at drop off or pick up to listen to information the teacher has for you or ask questions can make a huge difference in the parent-teacher relationship.
If you rarely have time at pick up or drop off times, you may consider volunteering for events. This can really help you to develop a working relationship with teachers because you will be practicing teamwork together. Also, if scheduled events tend to fall out of your range of free time to get away from work and other responsibilities, you might want to visit the classroom during a time that works better for you. Classes often take walks or do other activities that you may enjoy being involved in. Or if your child is in the Infants room, you can simply stop by any time of day and visit your baby in the comfortable playroom area.
The more time you spend in the classroom, the more comfortable you will become. Once you and the teacher are comfortable around each other, open communication will occur more naturally. Relationships are worked out through practice, so the more times we try to communicate and make ourselves available, the more developed our relationship skills will be.