A Post-Pandemic Guide to Building Strong Relationships With Your Child’s Teachers
Learning Heroes was blessed to welcome Ayodele Harrison, Senior Partner for CommunityBuild Ventures LLC and ex-math teacher, on their Facebook Live. Check out the video here.
After COVID-19 rocked the world and changed society entirely, it’s understandable that schools, parents, and children are feeling nervous about returning to school.
The pandemic affected the education system in major ways that are still unfolding. During lockdown, students were five months behind in mathematics and four months behind in reading on average by the end of the school year. This gap in attainment means that parents and teachers alike must work together to support the students to bridge it and get the U.S. students back on track.
It’s clear that one of the most effective ways for a student’s progress is through communication between teacher and parent, but teachers are busy people. The average teacher works a massive 400 hours of overtime every academic year, and the current state of the world means that number is only going to get higher.
So, how can you make sure you’re able to build strong relationships with your children’s teachers? Today, our post explains four key strategies to form and nurture a relationship with your child’s teacher, allowing your child to reach their maximum potential with the conjoined support from you as a parent and a teacher.
Tip #1: Exercise Patience
COVID-19 tested us all. The world had to adapt and quickly. People were forced to work from their kitchens while promoting and aiding with home learning, staying on top of housework, and completing endless tasks every day.
This need for change was also felt deeply by teaching staff. And, after adjusting the way teachers approached home-learning to suit their students, it was time to reintroduce children to school once again.
However, there are now COVID-19 guidelines to abide by, strategies that need to be implemented for safety, and a lot of catch-up work to do. So, the first tip is to exercise patience when forming a relationship with your child’s teacher.
Know that this, however, doesn’t mean exercising complacency. Be patient in knowing that your child’s teacher will be working overtime, often skipping lunch and breaks to ensure their students’ progress. They will also likely be experimenting with various pedagogical strategies to find methods that help to play catch up and gain results.
With this in mind, please be patient. This new normal is a learning curve for all of us, and the post-pandemic routine will take time to settle into.
Tip #2: Establish A Line of Communication
As soon as you can, ask your child’s teacher to define the best and most effective way to contact them. This may vary from school to school or even from teacher to teacher.
You’ll find that each educator has a preferred communication method, such as:
- Text message
- Learning management system
- Specific apps
Get clear on how your child’s teachers prefer to be contacted and respect that boundary throughout the school year.
Tip #3: Ask For An Estimated Response Time
As well as discovering the best communication method, you should also ask for an estimated
response time for each teacher. For example, some teachers will give two time frames: emergencies and routine queries.
Again, refer back to the first tip and be patient. The time frame of responses may, after the pandemic, be altered. Remember that this is down to the added pressure and workload on teaching staff during the settling-in period—especially after a pandemic.
Tip #4: Set Up A Meeting
Our final tip to establish a solid parent-teacher relationship is simple: set up a meeting at the beginning of the school year.
Early introductions are essential. In 2016, there was a very noticeable drop in the percentage of parents who believed parent-teacher communication was critical. However, studies have proved, time and time again, that a connection between parents and teachers leads to higher attainment. Additionally, it helps to boost self-esteem and reduces behavioral issues.
It’s crucial to set the tone and expectations for your child at the beginning of the school year. While it’s not advisable to set up a meeting on the very first day of school or during an open day, try to aim for a meeting as early as possible. This will reinforce the message that there will be contact between yourself and your child’s teacher from the off-set and set the tone for a serious learning journey for your child.
Teacher And Parent Relationships: The Key To Success
The benefits of forming a strong relationship with your child’s teacher are second-to-none for their academic attainment. In addition, your child will understand that you and their teacher are a team, working together for the good of your child. As such, it’s important to know how to form a solid relationship with teaching staff.
In our post-pandemic times, exercise patience. Remember that we are all still adjusting to life’s consequences post-COVID-19. Determine the best ways to contact your child’s teacher and ask for an estimated response time. And, finally, try to set up a meeting as early as possible to discuss your child’s personality, goals, and anything that you want your child’s teacher to know.
As a proactive parent who is invested in your child’s academic progress, following these steps will allow you to form a relationship with those who teach them.