Tips on parent-school interaction to help your child succeed
Good communication is key to parents staying informed about their child’s progress and will help them to overcome problems and achieve their life goals
Schools should be an active and caring community working towards the development of all pupils so that they can become successful, lifelong learners who develop into healthy, contributing citizens of the world.
However, unless schools and family work together effectively, children are less likely to develop the strong relationships they need or make their best progress towards these goals.
To be effective, we must have resilient home/school partnerships; with parents, pupils, teachers and specialists playing their part to ensure the best outcomes for each child and to overcome any hurdles along the way.
To form these partnerships, we need to have open communication about children’s progress and well-being as a foundation.
Continuing dialogue should be initiated early, helping everyone to understand that if there is anything, in or outside school, that may be affecting the child then it needs to be communicated.
The first step is to get to know your child’s teacher.
Arrange a time early in the school year to meet the teacher to develop a relationship that will help with working together, should additional support be needed.
It will help the teacher to get to know your family and will show your child that you care about their learning. You can also establish the best method to communicate in the future.
Find out what is happening and support the school, by keeping an eye on communication from the school – through email, newsletters or notes in a reading journal – and by showing interest in your child’s studies by talking with them daily about school.
Don’t be put off if the answer is “nothing”!
Try to change the way you ask the questions: “Who did you play with today? Who did you sit with? What was the best thing about the day at school today?”
Make yourself aware of the curriculum and policies that are designed to serve your child best and make sure your children follow the rules and do their homework. This helps to support good behaviour patterns, and has an impact on their motivation and success.
Communicate with the teacher about realistic expectations and requirements for your child. This is very important as unrealistic expectations or targets for development only cause unnecessary frustration.
An unfortunate reality is that your child could be exposed to some form of peer conflict or bullying at some point.
Please exercise some understanding as, despite the best efforts of schools, these issues do arise in school.
If this happens, reassure your child and contact the school so that they can handle the problem. Communicate with your child’s teachers calmly when you have concerns as they also care about your child’s best interests.
However, when there are a lot of children to deal with, the process of resolving them can be slow. The sooner the school knows about an issue, the quicker it can be resolved.
It is important to be careful not to make a situation worse by challenging teachers, other parents or their children.
Problems are often caused by use of social media for personal attacks. No matter how frustrating or vexing the circumstances are, it will not help your child if you rant on social media.
At the end of the day, you and the school want the same thing: your child learning effectively in a safe, caring, happy environment.