How to Communicate Effectively with Teachers and Administrators for Common Core Standards Success
Your child spends a significant percentage of his time with his teachers at school. Satisfying the Common Core Standards and receiving a good education requires consistent communication. If the purpose of school was merely supervision and childcare, that would be reason enough for you to communicate consistently with teachers and administrators. But school is about much more. Your child is there to learn important skills, both intellectually and socially.
The progress your child makes at school will play a vital role in his success for the rest of his life. As a parent, you want to work closely with his teachers to ensure that you’re supporting each other in your mutual goals for your child. It’s important to communicate with your child’s teachers and administrators early and often. Here’s how:
Schedule a face-to-face meeting at the beginning of the year. Reach out to your child’s teachers at the start of each year and arrange a time to sit down and discuss your expectations for your child’s progress. This is a great time to fill the teachers in on any specific information that may be beneficial to them, such as areas in which your child excels or tends to struggle.
It’s also a great time to listen to any suggestions the teachers may have for how to best support your child in the coming year.
Attend parent-teacher conferences, open houses, and other community nights at school. Take advantage of every opportunity that the school presents to open its doors to parents, family, and community members. Involvement from key stakeholders, such as parents, is a major factor in promoting a positive and effective school culture. Use these opportunities to stay in touch with your child’s teachers and to stay involved with the school.
Use e-mail to communicate efficiently. Don’t hesitate to send your child’s teachers an e-mail when you have a question about your child’s progress in class. Even if you don’t have a specific concern, it’s still a good idea to check in with them every week or two just to see how things are going.
Teachers keep pretty busy schedules at school, so don’t get frustrated if they don’t respond to your e-mail right away. Unless your query is urgent, be patient when waiting for them to respond. If that doesn’t work, try giving them a call during their planning period (or other duty-free time) during school hours.
Write thank-you notes. Sending a periodic thank-you note to your child’s teachers is a great way to say thanks for everything they are doing to further your child’s education. Whether you write in response to a specific instance or simply write a general “thank you,” this is a tangible way of communicating that you appreciate your child’s teachers and want to continue your partnership.
Take a trip to the principal’s office. Schedule a time to stop by the school one day, or during a specific school event, to introduce yourself to the school’s administrators. Take this opportunity to find out more about the school. Ask whether the school has programs that may be beneficial for your child and how you can be involved in supporting the mission of the school.