Of all the benefits of private school education, parents’ ability to form close partnership-style relationships with their kid’s teachers may top the list. You may have many questions about the features of your child’s education, such as whether the school offers a fine arts program, the extent of technology integration in schools, whether digital textbooks are used, and available summer camp options. While these are all important, a perhaps even more significant parental inclination is getting to know your child’s teachers and establishing a strong rapport with them. Below are some suggestions for breaking the ice and ensuring you and your child’s teacher form a strong team.
How Are You? Many parents quite understandably want to ask teachers about academics. Private school educators report that they spend roughly 55% of their time on college-related counseling. While this is undoubtedly of utmost importance, getting to know teachers on a more personal level is critical as it helps make the academic conversations easier. Simply starting with asking your child’s teacher how they are may seem basic, but it shows the teacher your level of care and interest in them and their work.
How Was Your Day? Similar to the above, this question shows your investment in your child’s teacher’s well-being. It also gives the teacher a comfortable opening to let you know of any important events or developments from your child’s day and how the teacher views and encourages these. Showing this level of interest creates a sense that the teacher can comfortably approach you with any concerns or news they may have, ensuring you will both be well-informed regarding your student’s private school education and development.
What Are Your Thoughts on How Education is Changing? As the educational landscape continues to evolve at a rapid pace, it’s likely your child’s teacher has views on these topics and is developing and adjusting their private school teaching approach along the way. Opening up this type of dialogue means you can have collaborative discussions regarding teaching style and curriculum.
What Can I Do to Help? It’s hard to imagine a teacher who would not appreciate this question. This shows your child’s teacher that you view your role and theirs as a genuine partnership and team effort. It communicates real support for the process and opens the door to allowing the teacher to reflect upon and share any thoughts or questions they might not have, had the question not been posed. Teachers often have plans for the entire school year prepared in advance and this question provides an opportunity for those plans to be shared in closer detail and will likely reveal more of the teacher’s passion for their work than you’ve already seen.
Developing a close joint relationship with your child’s teacher over time creates more, earlier, and better quality communication. You may even find a friend along with an excellent educator.