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Tips for Parents
 

It’s important for you to know your child’s teacher at school for a lot of reasons – and not just when you become aware of any problems. First and foremost, children benefit from seeing their parents at school. Your presence shows that you care about them and about what happens at school. 

1. How should I contact and/or arrange a visit to my child’s school?

Most schools host events close to the beginning of the school year. This is a time when all parents can visit the school, meet the teacher, other parents, and the principal. Many teachers also schedule parent-teacher conferences, which are a good way to talk about your child in detail. You may also want to meet with the teacher or principal outside these times. You should call the teacher to arrange a time or send a note to teacher by way of your child.

2. Who are the key staff members I should know at my child’s school?

It’s important that there be at least one adult at the school who knows your child well. This person can be your child’s current teacher, a teacher s/he’s had in the past, his/her guidance counselor, school nurse or even the principal. These are all people you should be familiar with.

3. What information should I share with the staff to help them educate my child?

Tell the staff about your child’s personality: is he/she outgoing or shy? Energetic or laid-back? Children learn in different ways. Know how your child learns and tell your child’s teacher about it. Outside stress can affect your child’s learning. If there’s something going on at home—a divorce, the death of a family member or beloved pet—tell school staff about it.

4. What do I need to know about my child from his/her teacher?

Your child’s teacher can give you insight into your child’s learning style and his/her personality away from home. The teacher can also alert you to academic or social problems that you can then address with your child. The sooner you and your child address any problems, the easier they will be to solve.

5. What do I need to know about my child from his/her principal?

If there is a disciplinary problem with your child, the principal should contact you. You should then try to schedule a meeting with the principal, your child and his/her teacher to discuss the problem and possible solutions. The principal should also contact you concerning larger issues at school that don’t involve your child directly, but do affect him/her.

6. What do I need to know about my child from his/her school counselor?

What your child’s counselor can tell you depends mostly on whether or not your child has been seeing the counselor. If so, then the counselor can be an important resource regarding your child’s personality and emotional well-being. If your child has not seen the counselor, the counselor can give you general advice about any social problems your child may be experiencing.

7. How should I find out about other services (tutoring, health screenings) my child’s school may provide?

You can get information on school-provided and related services anytime. Back to School night is a great opportunity to collect information. Most teachers will then schedule parent-teacher conferences and you can ask for information then, or just call the school office and ask. It is important that you get this information before there is a problem, that way you are prepared.

 

 
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