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12 ways to build a great relationship with your child’s teacher

Teacher and pupils in classroom
We all want the teacher to love our child (and us too!) so Lucy Dimbylow asked them to share their top parenting peeves, along with the things that parents can do at school and at home to make their job easier. Teachers’ pets, us? Yes please!

1. Don’t ambush the teacher during the morning rush

If you have issues to discuss with your child’s teacher, arrange an appointment to talk to her after school. This allows you both to focus on the issue at hand, and teacher's normally have a lot to during the school day – especially first thing in the morning! 

2. Do try to resolve problems with the class teacher

Sometimes things happen in the classroom that are upsetting for you or your child, but try to keep some perspective. ‘Recently a colleague mispronounced a new child’s name, and the parent went straight to the head to complain,’ says Jodie, a Foundation Stage teacher. 

It would be much better to discuss problems with the teacher first, if this is possible. Mistakes will happen but most teacher's will be open to listening and correcting the problem. 

3. Don’t forget to mark correspondence clearly

Year 2 teacher David points out that receiving envelopes with no name/date/relevant information on them (for school trips or lunches) can be quite confusing. Try to be as clear as possible with your correspondence. 

4. Do accept that your child may be different at school

Kids can be more boisterous at school than they are at home, and often interact very differently with other children and adults. Try to keep that in mind when your child's teacher wants to speak to you about their behaviour. 

5. Don’t expect part-timers to be psychic

If your child has job-share teachers, try to address questions and comments to the right one. For instance, if your child left something at school one day, address the teacher who was working at that time to try and help. The other teacher will probably not have a clue! 

6. If you can pay, please do!

‘Some parents never pay for trips or swimming lessons because we have to write on the letter that contributions are voluntary,’ Steph explains. ‘Many schools have budget deficits, and if parents who can afford to contribute won’t pay, these activities can’t go ahead.’ This advice doesn't apply if you are struggling financially. But if you can comfortably afford to, then it helps they school a great deal. 

7. Do foster independence

Rather than trying to teach your child to read and write before starting school, it’s more helpful to teachers if they can get dressed, put on their shoes and open their lunchbox himself. The little things go a long way and help everything to run more smoothly. 

8. Don’t be a pushy parent

It's fantastic if you're keen for your child to be doing more and confident on their capabilities, but teachers know what they're doing and there are important steps they need to be taken towards building certain skills, like reading and spelling. The teacher will do their best to go at the child's pace, so try not to panic and push for more. 

9. Do reinforce the school rules

It pays to familiarise yourself with the school’s behavioural policy before you object to any punishments that are doled out. There may be some things that you tolerate at home that are not accepted by the school. 

10. Do encourage good housekeeping

Children learn best in a tidy environment, so encourage your child to do their bit. At the start of the day, make sure your child puts their coat and bag on their peg by themselves before class begins – you'd be surprised how much this helps create a nicer learning environement. 

11. Do label uniforms

If you don't want to spend much of your life pestering school staff and hunting for missing items, be sure to label everything! Things will still go missing but at least you will get them back much quicker. 

12. Don’t forget about parents’ evening

Remember that teachers are staying later to talk to you about your child, and if you can't make then try to let the school know as soon as possible. 

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