Editor’s Note: The first time I went to a parent-teacher conference, I felt like I was being tested. It was great to check in to see how my child was doing, but when my daughter’s kindergarten teacher asked if I had any questions, I wasn’t sure I had the right ones. You don’t have to keep your interactions down to these scheduled meetings. Nathan Yoshida or Windward Nazarene Academy has a few suggestions that can help strengthen your parent, teacher and child relationship.
It takes a village. This is the motto that good teachers live by. As a whole, teachers understand that educating a child well is not the sole responsibility of the educator. Parents play an equally, if not more important role in their child’s learning. Good education happens when both teacher and parent are committed to working together for the betterment of the child, and that collaboration begins with effective communication.
Not all teachers are the same, but here are five questions that most teachers wish parents would ask:
- What did my child do well today or this week? Teachers love to brag about their students to their parents. When a child does something great in school, teachers will celebrate that accomplishment and they want that accomplishment to be celebrated at home as well.
- How can I support my child at home? Parents may not understand what their child is being taught, but there are many other ways that they can provide the necessary support at home to aid in their child’s learning.
- Does my child interact well with his/her classmates? Grades do not tell the whole story of the child. Good social and interpersonal skills are becoming critical components in a child’s educational development, especially in the age of technology that we are living in. Just think about the last time you saw a group of teenagers “hanging out” together. Chances are, they occupied the same physical space, but they didn’t talk to each other. They’re just on their phones the whole time. What’s that about? Teachers want to see their students be well-rounded, and they are very aware of how students interact with each other socially.
- Can we schedule a time to meet? Believe it or not, a teacher’s day does not begin at homeroom and end at dismissal. Teachers spend large amounts of time before and after school getting ready to do their jobs. They want to be prepared, including when they meet with parents. Most teachers will not be able to address a parent’s concern completely if they are suddenly stopped in the hallway or the parking lot. Scheduling a meeting allows the teacher to set aside the necessary time to give the parent their full attention and adequate information for an effective meeting. Teachers are eager and willing to meet with parents, but like most people, they want to be prepared as well.
- Is there an event coming up soon and how can I help? Teachers love to have class field trips, parties and other fun events. These events are always “extras” that teachers will do to give parents a chance to spend time with their child in school. The more help a teacher gets, the more fun the event.
By: Nathan Yoshida, Vice Principal
Editor: Honolulu Family Blog