How To Work With Your Son’s School Teachers

As parents you know the importance of education and the impact it can have on the rest of your child's life. Your teen however, usually doesn't see further into the future than the coming weekend. It is for this reason that working with your child's teachers is vital to ensure they thrive in school. By incorporating these steps into your weekly routine, you'll notice a positive change in your child's school performance.

Resolve Past Issues

It's hard to establish a good learning environment if your child doesn't get along well with his teacher. If your child complains about his teacher "not liking" or "always picking" on him, chances are there is a reason why. Send out a quick email to your child's teacher asking if something was done to offend them or disrupt the class in any way. If the response is yes, have your child apologize and maybe go as far as bringing in a plate of goodies for the teacher. A simple apology can go a long way to mending the relationship between student and teacher.

Establish Common Goals

Once you've resolved any past issues your child may have had with their teacher, the next step is to have a meeting with you, your teen and their teacher. Within this meeting there are several points that you should address.

  • Identify the Problem- Are you concerned about your teen's grades, are they not being challenged enough, are you wondering if they should be put in a different class? Identify exactly what it is that needs to be worked on so that together you can establish a solution.
  • Possible Reasons- Once you know exactly what the problem is, you can begin to figure out what may be causing these issues.
  • How to Fix It- Now that you know what the problem is, and what is causing it, the next step is to resolve the issue. This will require participation from the teacher, you and your teen.

    • The Teacher- Some quick fixes the teacher may want to incorporate are; moving your child's seat so they aren't distracted by friends and providing you with a list of the class assignments.
    • You- Once you know your child's daily assignment, make sure they are getting the work done each day.
    • Your Teen- Needs to commit to doing their assignments each day and asking for help when they need it.

Open Communication

After coming up with some solutions to help your child better succeed in school, continue to have an open dialogue with your teen's teacher. Never feel like you are being a burden or annoying your child's teacher, they want to see your child thrive in school and appreciate parents who are actively involved in their children's education.

In a survey done by the University of Phoenix, they found that while 97 percent of teachers want parents to be involved, only 8 percent of K-12 grade teachers said that 75-100 percent of their parents were involved in the classroom.

Keep an open line of communication, that way if you ever have any concerns or are curious about your child's progress in school all you have to do is ask. Don't wait until your child's next report card to realize that something needs to be done.

Get Ahead of the Curb

At the beginning of each semester, ask to receive an extra syllabus so that you and your child can have a copy. By having a syllabus for each of your child's classes you will know exactly what is expected from them and help them prepare to meet those expectations. Teenagers aren't the greatest at managing their time, leaving it up to you as their parent to teach them. For example, if you notice your child has a big project coming up in their English class, encourage them to finish homework in their other classes early so they can focus all their attention on the project.

Make it a habit each night to bring out your child's syllabuses as well as their homework to ensure that they got the work done they needed to. This daily ritual will ensure that your child succeeds in school.

Find them the Help They Need

There will be areas in your child's schooling where they thrive and other subjects where they may struggle. It is important to get your child the help they need so they can learn the material and do well in all their classes. If you are able to teach them and help them understand then great, otherwise help them find a tutor, a study group or encourage them to get after school help from their teacher until they are able to understand the material.

Involvement Makes A Difference

Being this involved in your child's schooling may make you feel like a helicopter parent. You may start to wonder, wouldn't it be better if they did this on their own? On the contrary, research shows that there are a number of benefits to parents and their children when the parents are involved in their schooling.

Benefits to Parents

  • Parents are more attentive to all of their child's needs.
  • Gain of confidence in their parenting.
  • By being involved in their child's schooling, there are more opportunities for positive reinforcement and affection.
  • Awareness of your child's school curriculum.
  • You and your child can bond through your shared knowledge of your child's curriculum.
  • Parents become more active in school policies.

Benefits to Children

  • Achieve more regardless of their race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status or their parents' education
  • Earn better grades
  • Score better on tests
  • Have a better attendance record
  • Complete their homework consistently
  • Pass their classes
  • Have higher self-esteem
  • Be more self-disciplined
  • Have better social skills
  • Have a more positive outlook on schooling

Next time you worry you're being "too involved", remember all of the many benefits that have a positive effect on you and your child.

By implementing these steps into your family's routine, you will be able to establish a worthwhile relationship with your child's teachers. This relationship will allow you to accomplish your mutual goal of seeing your child succeed in school.

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