How can parents help their children to get the most out of school? We asked teachers to share their valuable insights. Here are some helpful tips from teachers to parents!
Use email to get in contact with your child’s teacher.
Teachers everywhere agree – email communication is the best way to keep in touch. We live in a technological era, and phone calls can be difficult to coordinate these days. In addition, teachers like being able to keep written records in a student’s file that help to address any concerns you may have. In today’s world, most teachers include their email addresses on the class syllabus, so getting in contact with them should be no problem!
Try not to compare your child to others.
In many cases, students will comment that they feel pressured to “live up” to their parents’ expectations, which often involves a direct comparison to another person. Struggling students may find themselves being compared to other siblings or family members that didn’t have trouble with school. Every student is different, and even siblings may have completely different academic strengths and weaknesses. When a student feels like they are being compared to others, it puts an unfair pressure on them which, in turn, can actually hurt their academic performance.
Become involved in what they learned in school.
Teachers always recommend that you ask your child what they learned in school that day. Doing this shows your child that you are actively interested in their education. Some teachers recommend having your child explain his or her homework, or perhaps a lesson they learned that day. Even if you aren’t particularly familiar with the material they are learning, it shows your child that you take an interest in their academics, and encourages them to stay motivated.
Advocate for your child, but also for their teacher.
Teachers welcome parents to become actively involved in their child’s education. As mentioned earlier, you can use email to express any concerns that you may have about your child’s academic performance. However, also remember to encourage your child to take responsibility for themselves. Certain areas – homework completion and class participation, for example – are primarily the responsibility of the student. Unfortunately, teachers often feel they are blamed by parents for a student’s performance, when in reality these issues are much more complex. Teachers ultimately want your child to succeed, and if you feel you have concerns, the best thing to do is reach out to discuss solutions. Teachers often have 30+ students in a classroom at once, and it can be difficult to encompass the individual needs of every student.
Relate their education to real life.
Teachers universally agree that students make better connections with classroom material if they relate it to the real world. For example, if your student is learning an introduction to the animal kingdom in science class, a trip to the zoo can really help to bridge those connections. Many teachers also encourage parents to read or discuss current events with their children. By showing your child how their education applies to real life, you are helping them to form deeper connections to the material.