Parents and teachers are on the same page when it comes to school

Communication between teachers and parents is important to a child’s school success.

Developing a relationship with your child’s teacher can be incredibly beneficial; to parents, to teachers and of course, to children. According to the American Federation of Teachers, communication between families and schools is not just beneficial, it’s necessary for children’s success.

Research shows that the more parents and teachers share information the better equipped both will be to help children achieve. When teachers and parents communicate on a regular basis children are more motivated to learn, attend school regularly, have a good attitude about school and behave better. Teachers, in turn, have a better understanding of students and parents tend to have a more positive view of teachers. Everybody benefits.

The table below provides some hypothetical examples of some of the common similarities between the viewpoints of parents and teachers.

Parents to teachers: 

Teachers to parents: 

Really “see” my child. Get to know her.

I will do my best to learn about each of my students, let me know if you have information I may need to know.

Share information about my child’s day with me. I don’t always get a lot of information from my child.

Don’t believe everything your child tells you about our classroom.  If you are concerned, ask me. 

Keep information about my child and family confidential.

Limit TV viewing, make sure your child gets enough sleep it makes a big difference in being able to learn.

Invite me to visit my child’s classroom and make me feel welcome. Give me something to do, ask me what talents I have to offer.

Read what is sent home; newsletters, school handbook, notes regarding upcoming events. These really are important.

I make mistakes, be patient with me.

I make mistakes, be patient with me.

Limit the amount of homework you send home; help my family have time each night to just be together as a family.

Learning is all around us, not just at school. You are your child’s first teacher, continue to explore and discuss new things with your child.

Don’t wait to tell me if you have a concern about my child. 

Don’t wait to tell me if you have a concern about your child, it could be affecting his learning.

I want my child to succeed.

I want your child to succeed.

Don’t surprise me with a list of problems at the parent/teacher conference, tell me when it happens.

Attend your child’s parent/teacher conference.

I am trying hard to be a good parent.

I am trying hard to be a good teacher.

What can I expect my child to learn this year?

Try to attend school programs to support your child.

Consider me a partner.

Consider me a partner.

I am trusting you with my child.

Trust me. 

So break the ice or jump the hurdle and make contact with your child’s teacher. You can help the teacher get to know your child and you may feel more confident and comfortable calling or visiting in the future.

Many resources on school/family relationships are available for parents and teachers on these two websites; the Reading Rockets website, and the National PTA. The PTA has created a parent checklist, written in English and Spanish, on encouraging parent/teacher partnerships, as well as a guide on communicating with the teacher and a parent guide to student success. Resources on social-emotional development, child development and school success can be found on the Michigan State University Extension website.

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