Building relationships with your child’s teacher is one of the very best ways for you to stay connected to your child and what he or she is learning. Our teachers and centers are committed to developing strong partnerships with families, especially in those first few months when everyone is getting used to a new routine and new friends. The more communication the better: No question is too small, so don’t hesitate to bring it up! Our teachers and center staff are here to help families navigate a variety of issues, including behavioral concerns, transition difficulties, and social and emotional changes. Here are tips on building relationships with your teachers and your learning center from Quality and Accreditation Sr. Advisor Linda Nelson.
We love it when you talk to us!
- Sometimes drop-off and pickup times can be hectic for both parents and teachers. If this is making it difficult for you to talk with your child’s teacher, ask him or her about when and how you can chat. A teacher may be able to call you during nap time or another less busy period of day. Or you could leave a note, or email your center director abut scheduling a time that works for both of you.
- Parents are welcome in our classrooms! Once a week, take a little extra time to walk through the classroom with your child. Ask him what he’s been doing and take a moment to connect with his teacher. This can help you get a better sense of what your child is doing, how he or she is growing and helps build a rapport with the teachers.
- Let us know what’s on your mind. If there’s specific information you want to know on your daily notes, let the teacher know (for instance if you want to know how potty training is going so you can compliment those efforts at home). That helps both of you get on the same page to support your child.
- If the child had a rough night, or was sad at drop-off, by all means feel free to call and check in later in the day to see how he or she is doing. Center directors and teachers are there for you and are happy to reassure you or provide an update.
- Let teachers know any context that might be helpful as the child’s day starts, for example, if your child was having a tough morning.
- Participate in conferences. These are such wonderful chances to have a focused conversation about your child’s progress. Do come with questions you have.
We love it when you get involved!
- Ask if there is anything you can do to help. For example, you could gather some materials with other parents for an upcoming activity. This provides a connection to the classroom and builds your relationship with the teacher.
- Are you a musician? A firefighter? A librarian, scientist or a baker? We love having community members join our classes. If you have something you’d like to share with the class, this can enrich the curriculum and is a great way to participate in your child’s early education. Having guests share and letting kids ask questions is a wonderful way to add to the educational experience for the children.
- Parents are welcome to come in anytime and read a book or do an activity with the class.
- Some parents connect with other families over email and coordinate activities. For example, a group might decide to bring in treats for teacher appreciation week. This helps build connections to teachers as well as to other parents.
- Talk to teachers about ways you can support classroom learning consistency at home. When there is consistency, this can help young children feel more confident and comfortable.
- Ask teachers what your child seems to be enjoying most in the classroom. Does she seem to show a preference for math activities over art? Does she prefer teacher-directed or self-directed activities? This can help you get to know your child a little better and guide the way you help her learning at home.