5 Keys to Parent-Teacher Communication (page 2)

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Updated on Mar 20, 2013

Know when to be a bear.

You're not always going to see eye to eye with a teacher. And sometimes you have to be a little aggressive to act in the best interest of your child. Kelli recalls a time when she didn’t do her usual routine of introducing herself to a teacher, because she believed there wouldn't be a problem in a physical education class. She was surprised to find that another student had been sexually inappropriate with her son and the teacher did nothing when he was informed.

In this situation, she felt it was necessary to go directly over the teacher's head and complain to the principal. The lesson: Your child may not always get amazing, dedicated teachers. Rely on your gut for when it's appropriate to take aggressive action on behalf of your child.

Hug it out.

No, you don't have to actually have to hug it out if that's not your thing. But it can be all too easy to concentrate so intensely on your child that you may forget teachers are people too. They get sick and have bad days. They can get flustered and impatient. They also need encouragement and a positive word every once in a while.

If your teacher does something you think is wonderful, let her know it. If your child says something positive about the teacher, send a quick email telling her about it. Ideally, your child's teacher will be a part of your family's team. And like any team, you've got to be positive with each other.

Even if you discuss your expectations with your child's teacher mid-year, remember to keep a positive attitude. Coming to the table with a friendly and appreciative demeanor can go a long way to creating a lasting and productive relationship with a teacher. Kelli remembers fondly of times she and her son visited some of his former teachers. For her, it is a "wonderful experience" to see a teacher with whom she built a strong, warm relationship and have them see how her son has grown. If you keep in mind the principles of compromise and compassion, you'll be well on your way to a positive and collaborative parent-teacher relationship.

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