Your relationship with your child’s teacher matters. That’s because having a positive relationship with the teacher means you can work together to ensure your child has the support they need to flourish at school, at home and in the future.
Remember, the most important adults in the daily lives of most children are their primary caregivers (usually parents), and their teacher. These are the adults with whom they spend the most time, and who provide guidance and direction, through their actions and their words, on many aspects of their lives. In fact, it’s no surprise that how these adults relate to each other affects the child’s learning and life experiences.
A new school term is the perfect time to reach out to your child’s teacher and start building a positive, collaborative relationship that will have a remarkable impact on your child’s learning and development. So this article explores why positive parent-teacher relationships are important, and suggests 3 ways to build a constructive relationship with your child’s teacher.
Why do positive parent-teacher relationships matter?
Quite simply, children do better in school and at home when parents and teachers work as partners.
Research shows that when parents and teachers have a positive working relationship, a child’s grades and attitudes towards school improve too. What’s more, they also demonstrate better social skills, greater adaptability, and a noticeable reduction in behavioural problems. It’s not just the child who benefits, parents and teachers gain something too. Working as partners allows parents and teachers to communicate more effectively, develop stronger relationships with one another, and to improve their skillset at supporting the child with their learning and development.
How to build a positive parent-teacher relationship
Parent-teacher relationships are a partnership, and like all partnerships, they work best when they contain 3 key ingredients: communication, consistency, and collaboration.
As with any relationship, effective communication between you and your child’s teacher is key. Indeed, frequent, two-way communication is important to stay apprised of what is happening at school, and to keep the teacher up to date with important events in your child’s life. Start by agreeing the best ways to communicate. For example, many teachers use communication apps, but you could also use a home/school notebook or email. Above all, remember that the best kind of communication is open, clear, timely, and constructive – avoid being overly negative as this could damage the relationship.
The second magic ingredient for an effective partnership is consistency. So, ask about (and suggest) ways you can work with your child at home to encourage their learning. This may involve tailoring the opportunities and experiences you provide at home to support your child’s in-school learning. For example, creating the right environment and routine for home work, providing learning materials, and encouraging your child to exercise and eat well will all contribute to their performance in the classroom.
It’s also vital that you talk about ways to ensure that you and the teacher are “on the same page” when it comes to plans and expectations. This kind of partnership sends a consistent message to your child and lets them know that you and school are working together to support their learning.
The final ingredient for a successful partnership is collaboration. A collaborative partnership should focus on cooperation positive strategies to help your child reach their full potential. So, make an effort to understand the teacher’s goals and expectations for your child, and let them know about your goals. Plan and problem-solve around issues that may arise. Collaborative planning with your child’s teacher involves acknowledging the need to work together to address a concern, staying focused on finding a solution (not placing blame), making plans that involve support and responsibility at both home and school, following through on plans and checking back to make sure progress is being made.
Remember, collaboration will be far easier if communication is frequent, and you consistently create opportunities for your child’s learning. It’s also much easier to address any challenges if the relationship and communication channels are developed early.
George Alexander Tuition is a specialist maths and science tuition agency based in Central London. We support children aged 11-18 with a variety of termly tuition packages and exam coaching from 11+ to A-Level. We also offer bespoke packages to support children who are learning at home. To find out more, contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow our social media accounts on Instagram and Facebook, and check out our handy maths tutorials on our YouTube channel.