Parents and teachers are very important for helping children learn. Working together begins with clear communication.
Use this guide to help start a conversation with your child’s teacher.
Learning takes place wherever your child goes. Knowing how to help them after school, over the weekend, and during the summer will help your child start school strong. These questions can help you get the most out of time with your child’s teacher.
1) How are you doing today?
This creates the initial relationship building between the parent and the teacher. This will help create a working relationship and not an adversarial one. There is nothing like feeling someone cares how you feel as you attempt to educate their child.
2) How is my child doing in class?
All educators have very little time to do a lot of work. Teachers respond to direct and specific questions. For example: “How did my kid do on last week’s reading test. What can I do to help them improve their grade?”
3) What can we do together to help my child learn.
This is the next step in creating a working relationship between the parent and the educator. At the end of the day, they are responsible for educating that child.
4) What should I know about the new curriculum?
Educators have a good idea how their school’s curriculum will affect their workload and their ability to properly educate their students. Your child’s teacher will be the person to help parents navigate the problems of a new education plan.
5) How do you think that changes in the curriculum and classroom activities affect students?
Changes in the curriculum may also impact what is happening in the classroom. Teachers need to be supported for making these changes from school leadership, support staff, and parents. Becoming a partner to make sure that the teacher is well supported can help the teacher support student learning.
6) What additional changes do you expect to happen in the school next year?
Understanding what changes are likely to happen (curriculum, school organization, support staff and structures) will prepare you for how you can prepare and support your student to help make them successful.
7) Can I have a copy of my child’s recent test or exams, and other major assignments?
Being a partner in your child’s education begins with being informed. Test results and other assignment will help you understand what is expected of your child. This information can be used as a discussion guide for the parent-teacher conversation to figure out where the student is struggling with reading and how to better support student learning.
8) What can I do to support my child outside of school, especially over the summer?
Learning can happen all the time and anywhere! It is important to support learning in the evenings, over the weekends, and over the summer. Speaking with your child’s teacher about what your student is doing in school, what is expected of them, and how you can help, will help you find ways to support learning year round.