As parents, we all want our child to do great in school! One of the best ways we can ensure that this is happening is by keeping the lines of communication open with your child’s teacher. As a parent and a teacher, I’ve been (and currently am) on both sides of this fence. As a parent, I have those days where I want to email the teacher 50 times to check on my child and days where I dread hearing from bad news from the teacher. As a teacher, there are parents I try to communicate with and parents it’s hard to reach because of work schedules or missed phone calls. Parents and teachers can be most successful if we all work together as a team! Remember, you know your child best and always have valuable information to share with a teacher. Never hesitate to contact your child’s teacher.
Here are some general things to remember when considering how to communicate with a teacher:
- Your child’s teacher may or may not be available at the time you try to contact him or her. Be patient!
- Use communication as a way to help your child–keep things friendly and work together with your child’s teacher.
- Always address your child’s teacher by their proper name.
There are four basic ways you can communicate with your child’s teacher:
- Phone call
- Written note
- email (read THIS ARTICLE about tips for communicating via email with your child’s teacher)
- Parent/Teacher conference (read THIS ARTICLE for advice about preparing for the Parent/Teacher conference)
Read on for how to communicate with a teacher in each of those categories:
Placing a phone call is still the preferred method of communication for many parents. They are able to call from anywhere, at anytime, to discuss their child. Phone calls are great for getting a quick message to the school if there is going to be a change in how your child is getting home from school or if you are going to be picking your child up early.
The major downfall to placing a phone call to your child’s teacher to discuss something important is that you don’t know if you’ll actually get to speak to the teacher. Even if you call directly before or after school, there is a good chance you will have to leave a message and wait for a return call later that day or the following day.
Most written notes from parents tend to regard absences, requests for missed work, or asking for a conference. However, even though all my students have communication folders, I have received notes that were missing pieces from getting torn, notes that were to go to the nurse days after they were written and other things of that nature. I work in the younger elementary years, so they tend to lose notes. Older students sometimes don’t want their teachers or parents to see notes! So they just never deliver them in the first place. With the other forms of communication we have, written notes are the last way I personally, as a parent, chose to communicate with my children’s teachers.
In this society, email is one of the most effective ways to communicate with your child’s teacher. You are likely to get an answer from the teacher the same day with an answer to your question, are able to easily set up a conference, or receive a phone call reply. With the chaotic work schedule many parents have and the hectic school day, it is hard to know when the best time to try to call might be. But an email is easier to sit down and respond to. Check out our article: Tips for Emailing Your Child’s Teacher. You’ll find everything you want to know about emailing your child’s teacher in that article.
It’s important to take the time to meet with your child’s teacher at least one time during the school year for a Parent/Teacher Conference. Parent/Teacher Conferences are the best time for you to talk to your teacher about your child’s needs and find out what expectations are for the grade level. You can get suggestions to help your child achieve whether they are behind or advanced. Read our article about a Parent’s Guide to Parent/Teacher Conferences.