Bonding With Your Child's Teacher

Wishes And Dreams

When parents have children, they have many hopes and dreams invested in their children. They expect perfectly well-behaved children who never embarrass the adults or themselves. They expect their children to do well in school and have lots of "perfect" friends. They expect their children to grow up to be model adults in the community, to achieve great things and bring them joy and happiness in their old age. It was a nice dream that exploded when the child first cried in a public setting or loudly proclaimed his/her independence with the word (usually screamed) "NO!"

It may come as a surprise to parents, but teachers entered education with essentially the same expectations of children in his/her class: quiet, cooperative, compliant children who are ready and eager to learn from the teacher. The children will learn quickly and easily and have no difficulties with the teacher or with each other. That illusion is usually shattered during student teaching, but dreams linger on.

Forming The Bond With Your Child's Teacher

The bond between parent and child is formed on a daily basis, just as it is between the child and the teacher and the parent and the teacher. No matter what age/grade the child is in, the process of building the bond is the same: communications (accurate and frequent) shared between the teacher and the parent(s).

Of course there are some basic rules:

· The communications are best done by email, notes in a special notebook (spiral bound), or in person at the end of the day, because the mornings are when teachers are getting set up for the day.

· Please, parents, NEVER go to the classroom for a chat because you want company, attention, or a place to spend time! Teachers are VERY busy ALL day long and preparation time and organization are critical to the running of a classroom.

· If you really want to build a bond with the teacher, volunteer to help with copying, making bulletin boards, even working with students as a mentor (reading, math or writing).

· Be supportive of the teacher, regardless of what the child says. (Check it out with the teacher about what happened before blaming the teacher or another student - children frequently leave out critical information about their responsibility in certain actions/events).

· When you have a concern, talk with the teacher before going to the administrator. Going to the administrator is actually an adult form of tattling, but you may not understand the complete picture and could cause a lot of unnecessary problems and/or work.

· When a child is absent, collect the missing work and supervise its completion. Sometimes it won't make a difference, but some subjects (especially math at higher levels) depend on each incremental skill taught daily.

· Hold your child accountable and responsible for his/her learning, homework, behavior and grades. Do not make excuses for your child and throw responsibility back on the teacher.

Jennifer Little, Ph.D.

All children can succeed in school. Parents can help their children by teaching the foundational skills that schools presume children have. Without the foundation for schools' academic instruction, children needlessly struggle and/or fail. Their future becomes affected because they then believe they are less than others, not able to succeed or achieve or provide for themselves or their families. Visit http://parentsteachkids.com to learn how to directly help your child and http://easyschoolsuccess.com to learn what is needed for education reform efforts to be successful.

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