- You are an expert on your child at home and your child's best advocate away from home.
- The manner in which you advocate can promote cooperation and change OR damage important relationships with the staff you need to work with.
- A teacher juggles all her clients' (aka students) needs at the same time, in one room, every workday of the year. Do you know of another profession where that occurs?
- Teachers want to do their best for our children. They care deeply about their academic, emotional and social development. They spend hours each night and at weekends planning for positive, stimulating classes and outcomes. If they have a concern, it is part of their training and job to communicate that with you and to strategize and implement ways to help and support your child, in school. They also want to communicate the wonderful things about your child. If the feedback feels unbalanced, you can gently ask for some positive observations too.
- A teacher is human too. When someone complains aggressively, rudely and without context as his or her first interaction with her, she is likely to, as I'm sure you would, become defensive and wary of that person.
- If you want to raise a complex issue with your child's teacher, meet them in person and have a face-to-face, respectful discussion. Email is not a good vehicle for discussion. It eliminates nuance and emotion. It is however, good for sharing information quickly, as a follow up to an in-person meeting and as a way to express your appreciation throughout the year.
- Try to resist your initial opinions of your child's new teacher, being colored by other children's and adults' previous interactions. Each relationship is different. Wait at least until you have had some interactions yourself and your child has spent a good few weeks in school. You and your child are unique. How your child interacts with the teacher and how you do the same, may be very different from others' and you can certainly start off trying to form a warm, collaborative partnership without pre conceptions.
P.S You may also like:
A Note of Appreciation: The Ultimate Gift
How To Teach Our Kids To Be Kinder
Words of Wisdom For Our College Bound Kids
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