5 Easy to Steps to Great Communication with Your Child’s Teacher

Your child is traversing two worlds, between home and school. It is powerful for your child to know that you and your child’s teacher are in good contact, and that there is good rapport. But sometimes that’s not so easy. There might be strong emotions at play or it’s just that we are busy and tired and not exactly sure how to handle a conversation about the things that matter the most to us. Here are some of my quick tips to make the conversation go more easily with your child’s teacher:

1. Tell the story from the perspective of your child.

Your tendency in talking with your child’s teacher may be to talk about your own feelings about whatever the matter is. The teacher will listen more openly and hear you if she or he feels that the perspective is coming from the child. “I observe that my child feels anxious about the homework” or “I am noticing that Emmy is worried about the upcoming test.

2. Take time to say something positive.

Don’t only reach out when things aren’t going well. Create space for affirmations and appreciation in your interactions with your child’s teacher. Teaching is a hard job and people often forget to show appreciation for long periods of time. Teachers are doing heroic work on a daily basis. There are many ways to show appreciation but a little note or email just to say you are recognizing the teacher’s work really feels good and matters a lot.

3. If you are worried, reach out.

Definitely don’t wait, thinking the teacher won’t like your involvement. Teachers do want to know if everything is alright and oftentimes your insights can be incredibly helpful to a teacher’s understanding about your child. Don’t wait too long to express a worry you have or a concern.

4. Start with open-ended questions.

When engaging in a conversation with a teacher about your child, begin with open-ended questions such as: “I’m wondering how you think things are going with Emmy?” Or “What are your thoughts on what we can do together to help Emmy feel more confident.”

5. Be a team

Your teamwork is crucial for your child’s development. Any interaction you have with your child’s teacher can feel intentional and built on well-being if you think of the two of you as a team. Engage as a team member: “I know we both want such great outcomes for Emmy; can we make time to talk about her progress so far this year?” Or “I want to do what I can at home to help Emmy succeed and would love your insights.” Your teamwork together will create a special year for your child.