Teachers and students have a unique relationship. For 180 days a year, many students are with their teachers MORE waking hours than they are with us. Ouch! How can I, as a parent, help ensure that this relationship is positive for all parties?
#1. Communicate! Your teacher is most reachable by email. Email her or him the first week of school. Doesn't so much matter what you say as long as it is SHORT and SUPPORTIVE. This email will help your child stand out quicker and will get your email in the "easy to reply" category. All student info is in the system but not necessarily user-friendly, up-to-date, or easy to find.
#2. Be Proactive! Do not say to the teacher, "Just let me know if my child needs help or if there is any problem". Your teacher will try to do this anyway but maybe not as quickly as you would like. Why? High school teachers have up to 150 students daily. Even the BEST teacher cannot always report every need, every disturbance, every everything the moment it happens. On the other hand, you probably only have one or two children to keep up with. Don't rely on the teacher to 'let you know'.
#3. Grades are online 24-7 in almost every school now. Watch them at least weekly. Give the teacher a week to grade and post major tests. See a zero? Don't let it slide. Know the makeup policy. "I didn't know is no excuse". Sounds harsh, I know.
#4. Know your child's counselor. Your child, you, the teacher, and counselor can solve just about any problem that arises. Be a team.
#5. If the teacher/counselor are reachable by phone, put their numbers in your phone. I am not saying to bug them or call everyday with trivial concerns. I am saying that if something is really bothering you or your child, do not sit on it. Communicate with the one who knows them best in the entire building, their teacher.
Stay tuned for more tips to come. Share your thoughts too. People like to get ideas from others in the same boat.....especially while everything is still afloat if you get my drift.