How to develop a good relationship with your child’s teacher

by Ramya Manoharan | Feb 16, 2017

Parent teacher relations for child

Most Australian parents think highly of their children’s teachers: nine out of 10 of them, to be precise. This is the learning from the ASG Parents Report Card of 2016, an annual commentary that provides an insight into parents’ perceptions of the state of education in primary and secondary schooling in Australia.

The report, prepared in collaboration with the Faculty of Education of Monash University based on a survey of around 3,000 Australian parents, grandparents and guardians, suggested that 91% believe that their child’s teacher is very capable. The 2015 report, with a similar sample size, says that parents are eager to better understand school curriculum and teaching methods.

These views should translate to a rosy picture of parents and teachers walking with their arms around each other’s shoulder. Instead, many times we find parents and teachers up in arms against each other.

“Certainly, more communication between teachers and parents would be highly beneficial for children’s development,” educators say.

Some of you might not have had the chance to ask your child’s teacher what they expect from you to synergise the effort to help your child meet his or her potential. That is why we requested the recipients of the ASG National Excellence in Teaching Award (NEiTA) to share their views on the subject and came up with the following list.

Six rules for a smooth parent teacher partnership

  1. Prepare your child for school.

    Teachers feel the pressures of being overloaded with extracurricular activities, and increasingly they’re also expected to take responsibility for teaching the things parents are not. Relieve them of this additional burden by teaching your child to respect others, the importance of values and morals, and discussing personal safety and warning them against substance abuse.

    Check your child’s homework and allow your child to make mistakes.

  2. Show interest in your child’s learning.

    Developing an enthusiasm for learning begins at home. Become engaged with your child’s teacher and the school, and create an encouraging learning environment. 

  3. Partner with your child’s teacher

    Parents, teachers and students must work as a team to get the job done. Your involvement will help your child’s progress at school, build trust and resolve differences.

  4. Participate in your child’s school activities

    You can support the school’s values in your home, look for opportunities to share knowledge and experience, respect the teacher’s professionalism, and know what’s going on by regularly reading school communications.  

  5. Attend parent teacher interviews

    Parent teacher interviews are the most effective way teachers can communicate with parents. But sometimes parents, whom teachers need to talk to most, don’t show up.

    Parent teacher meetings aren’t necessarily about criticism and complaints, and teachers encourage parents to attend these meetings wherever possible. Teachers want to ensure parents are informed and parents should grab every opportunity to communicate with teachers. 

  6. Support your child’s teacher and school

Teachers suggest that before parents can support the policies and values of their child’s school, the first step is to find out what these are. The next step is to decide how best to offer support.

Once you’re up to speed, talk about the importance of school policies and mirror the rules and consequences of your child’s school at home to encourage a healthy attitude. 

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