Parents play a significant role in the success of a student. As a important member of the student's learning team, parents should be informed and appropriately involved in their child's school experience. However, this role takes different forms as students mature and move through different developmental stages. As a result, the nature of parent involvement also changes, which can lead to misunderstanding and an unnecessary strain on the parent/teacher relationship.
Recently, a parent of a school aged child ask me about how to establish a better partnership with his child's teacher. I suggested that the parent engage in a conversation with the teacher using the questions below as a guide.
1. How can I, as a parent, best support your work as the teacher?
2. What should I expect in terms of development from my child this year?
3. What are your expectations of my child in terms of effort?
These questions not only allow the key developmental issues to emerge as the basis of the conversation, but also recognize and respect the fact that the parent is the expert on their child and the teacher is the expert on the instruction.