What teachers want parents to know

A good relationship between teachers and parents is key in a child’s successful schooling career.

  1. Communicate regularly with the teacher via emails, telephonically or face to face meetings. This helps monitor your child’s progress and areas of concern. A good parent-teacher relationship also leads to a good student-teacher relationship. 
  2. Work as a team with the school staff. With regards to discipline, academic and behaviourial issues, try to ascertain the facts before you assume what is happening and then try to find viable solutions together.
  3. Don’t arrive at school without warning. The teacher is on duty at drop off and pick up time or getting ready for the day. Scheduled appointments lead to a more productive meeting plus another staff representative may also need to be present.
  4. Don’t go over the teacher’s head. Talk directly with the teacher before going to the principal or other administrators. If not satisfactorily  resolved, move to the next channel such as the Grade or Phase Head.
  5. Check general school communication daily such as school newsletters, message boards and apps to monitor what your child needs to do or bring to school. Don’t forget to check your younger child’s bag for reminders that may not have been given to you.
  6. Check on homework regularly. Don’t do it for the child but take the time to help with aspects they don’t understand or with time management.
  7. Establish regular routines. Schedule homework, meal, bath and sleep times. This includes ensuring children pack their school bags, including sport or co curricular activities, the night before. This helps create a calm, organised school morning.
  8. Try to have an organised home. This helps with children feeling prepared and focused for the day. A quiet, tidy and ordered homework and bedroom space is also important.
  9. Respect. Remember teachers are professionals. They usually have degrees, courses and teaching experience.
  10. Talk positively to your children about their teachers and school. If you are positive and upbeat, so will they be.   
  11. Marks. Try to accept marks given and not negotiate them up, unless there is a clear error on the teacher’s side. Don’t put so much pressure on your child so that he/she hates to learn and becomes anxious.
  12. Your child is not the only child. Accept that teachers have other students to teach. However, if your child has special talents or interests or health, academic and family issues, let the teacher know.
  13. Limit and monitor screen time. Encourage other activities such as physical activity, reading or drama classes.
  14. Offer school or class assistance. Volunteer your support and time, depending on your other commitments. For example, be a class mom or accompany younger kids to sport fixtures or outings.
  15. You are your child’s first teacher. Teach your child manners, values, respect for others, giving back to the community and a work ethic. These values are reinforced in schools by teachers. 
  16. Don’t only tell the teacher what they are doing wrong. Validation is also important for teachers. 
  17. Comfortable, appropriate clothing should be worn by younger children at school and older kids for school civvies or social events.
  18. When your child makes mistakes, let them face the consequences. This is an important life skill.
  19. Try not to discuss your child with a teacher, in front of your child. This could embarrass your child or cause anxiety.

Wendy Roux

Wendy Roux

Wendy Roux is a mother of a teen and a 12 year old. She has worked in teaching, the corporate environs and publishing. She is also the author of Checklist Parenting, aimed at parents of young school going children. The handbook offers parenting checklists, covering a range of topics, in a well laid out, easy to read format

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