Page 2 of 2
By GreatSchools Staff
A parent's perspective is different from a teacher's, and that makes sharing information important, this New Hampshire mother of a seventh-grader wrote:
"I have found it is very helpful to let the teachers and appropriate staff know right up front that my daughter takes an extra three steps longer to do most things than other children. Letting the teachers know students' strengths and weaknesses helps the teacher communicate with a student.
"Also, remember that we may know our children very well and certain things they do might not bother us. The teachers may interpret it differently. If your child is more sensitive than others, I would let them know that right up front. It is also helpful to tell them anything that your student has had problems with in the past, that way they know what they are in for!"
"My suggestion — take away recess privilege until she starts to get her work completed — worked. The teacher knows I'm concerned and has helped us work through other issues with my daughter.
"My daughter has improved. She feels that mom and teacher are one team and she is not getting any notes from teacher. We now communicate through emails."
"If you have a difference of opinion with your child's teacher, do not come out swinging, in other words do not go on the offensive," advises a California mother of a 13-year-old. "State your problem, let the teacher give you his or her full explanation and then state your opinion. Try to engage in a sensible conversation and perhaps you can come to a happy medium. There must be a give and take."
Mom Marcy Foster advises: "Be precise in your thoughts and never be intimidating. Map out what you are concerned about and what you believe the steps to resolution require. Always remember you are in the teachers' territory. Let them feel you respect them as educators and embrace their advice.
Also, I know with me, sometimes I have to remind myself that we are a threesome and the grades come from the classroom, therefore the teacher really needs to be in the lead with the understanding you are in charge at home.
It also works when I get an initial rush of anger to write it down as I actually feel it and then immediately tear it up. Then, it seems the real situation is allowed to shine through (just be sure to tear it into little pieces.), and I can address the real needs of my child. After all, that is what it really is all about."
Another parent writes:
"I like to try and model my relational approaches with Steven Covey's work with the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.
"One of them says, 'Seek first to understand, then to be understood.' If I stop and ask why and try and understand the thinking of the teacher/other, it gives me time to think over and understand the true meaning/intentions with the individual and there is a better chance that the interaction will be positive!"
A California mom said teaching children to establish constructive relationships with their teachers is the most important goal:
"I am a California mom of three, ages 14, 10, and 8. My best advice is to not worry so much about the relationship YOU establish and worry more about the relationship that is established between your children and their teacher. Our goal is to raise generations of self-reliant children. Teach them that it is better for them to communicate their feelings. Obviously, adult conversation is sometimes necessary, but encourage your child to build that honest and trusting relationship with their teacher.
"I have had to confront three teachers in my lifetime because of inappropriate things they have said or done. Each time I have gone in very nervous. Only one time did the teacher respond defensively. The other two teachers were very humble and thanked me for bringing it to their attention. If you go in with the, 'I am sure you would want to know how this affected my child' attitude instead of the 'I am mad as h---' attitude, you will be heard AND respected. Sometimes a 'preview' of what you need to talk about in a note makes the appointment with the teacher a little more comfortable — just remember that you want their help. You don't want them to be annoyed by you before you even get a chance to talk."
"The way I have been successful at establishing a rapport with my kids' teachers is by being understanding of their work load and daily demands," one mom wrote. "I recognize that my child is only one of probably 30 kids she's responsible for."
A Virginia mom wrote: "I try to support the teacher any way I can. I buy a small but pretty gift after the first week of school (aromatherapy hand lotion this year) because I know it is a week s/he is working a lot of extra time."
"Cookies. Bake some cookies for the teacher," one reader wrote. "Chocolate chip are the best. That will start your relationship off on a positive note."
And finally, from another:
"Forget flowers and apples, send chocolate in."
Sign up for our free newsletter and we'll send you
more just like it every week.
Thank you! You will begin to receive newsletters from us shortly.
Thanks for verifying your updated email address.
Oops! That email verification link has expired. Please click the button below to receive a new one.
Create an account to submit your answers.
Sign in with an existing GreatSchools account or using Facebook:
Your review has been posted to GreatSchools.
Share with friends! Post your opinion of on Facebook.
Welcome to GreatSchools!
Thanks! We just sent you an email – please click on the link in the email to post your answers.
Get timely updates for , including performance data and recently posted user reviews.