The new school year brings new classrooms, new experiences, and new teachers.
You know students do best when parents and teachers work together as partners. So, it’s important for you to connect with your child’s teacher from the start of the school year, especially if you have concerns.
Sharing information about your child will help the teacher better understand his or her needs and lay the groundwork for a cooperative relationship throughout the school year.
Of course, if your child is working with a new tutor, she’ll want to learn about your child too.
Here’s what to share with a new teacher:
Strengths and weaknesses
The teacher will be better able to help your child knowing if he or she is confident or challenged in certain subjects. Knowing that he loves math but is embarrassed to read aloud can set your child up for feeling confident in the classroom.
Is your child a visual, auditory or physical learner? Letting the teacher know how your child learns best will ensure that he incorporates multiple learning styles in the classroom. And, if there are certain strategies that you’ve found work well with your child at home, it will be helpful to share those too.
If your child tends to spend too much time on one subject, the teacher may offer insight and suggestions for homework time to go more smoothly. The teacher may also provide recommendations for the best way to study for a subject that is challenging for your child.
Is your child worried about being around a specific peer? Does he feel easily left out, insecure, or uncomfortable in groups? Does she have problems with social cues? The more information you provide, the more your child’s teacher can keep an eye on things and potentially prevent uncomfortable situations from happening in the classroom.
If there are changes happening at home, like a serious illness, divorce or death in the family (including pets), it’s important to share with the teacher. Since these issues can affect behavior, attitude and grades, knowing what is going on at home can help the teacher better understand your child and alert you to any changes.
Even though the school nurse may know if your child has an allergy or a health condition, her teacher should also know. It’s important to inform the teacher of any diagnosed conditions, such as ADHD, which may affect classroom behavior.
Knowing that your daughter loves to dance or your son loves to draw, informs the teacher about his or her passions outside of school and may create an opportunity to use those talents in the classroom. It can also show them as a full person, not just a student in their class.
The bottom line:
You know your child best. The more you can share information with the teacher, the better experience your child will have in the classroom. Don’t hesitate to share and be an advocate for your child. It could be the key to your child’s success this school year!