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How to Work With Your Child’s Teacher This Year

A new school year is about to begin and kids (and parents) are excited to get to know their new teachers. It’s highly likely that kids just want to know if their teacher is nice and fun. But parents, on the other hand, have bigger concerns.

A Teacher is a Vital Part of A Child’s Development

Teachers play an important role in the development and growth of a child. And that’s because teachers today don’t just deliver the content or the curriculum. They also teach their students a range of skills needed to be successful adults.

A recent study shows how important these other noncognitive skills are. For example, teachers who helped students improve self-regulation, also raised those students grades. And this far outstripped improvements to standardised tests.

Why Having a Positive Parent-Teacher Relationship Matters

Because your child’s teacher plays such an important role in their life, it’s important that you have a solid relationship with them. Having a positive parent-teacher relationship can absolutely affect your child’s success at school. In fact, this relationship is linked to a huge array of good outcomes, including increased motivation, better academic achievement, positive behaviours, good attitudes and even stronger social competencies and increased emotional wellbeing. Of course, feeling safe and cared for at school is the foundation for classroom success. And your relationship with their teacher will help facilitate these feelings in your child.

A positive parent-teacher relationship also helps kids who might otherwise struggle to overcome certain opportunity gaps, or who have behavioural or learning considerations. With the collaborative support of both the parents and the teacher, these children are better able to overcome their arbitrary circumstances and achieve the best of their potential.

How to Work With Your Child’s Teacher This Year

The best way to work with your child’s teacher this year is to focus on three Cs: communication, collaboration and consistency.


Communication is the first and most important part of maintaining a good relationship with your child’s teacher. Start by communicating with your teacher early on by heading to the classroom and introducing yourself in person. Talk a little bit about your child, giving the new teacher some background on who they are and where they shine or struggle. Most importantly, let the teacher know that you’re on board to be an integral part of your child’s education.

After you’ve had your initial chat, find out the best way to communicate throughout the year. And then maintain that communication consistently. As you continue to build your relationship, ensure your interactions are constructive, open, clear and timely. Ask questions and provide observations that focus on your child’s efforts and behaviours, strengths and challenges, as well as their grades and achievements. If you let the teacher know what your child’s goals are, they are better able to help them get there.


Now that you’ve let your teacher know that you’re on board to be part of your child’s education, it’s time to start implementing a strategy to help your child strive for their best potential. As part of this, it’s important that you, as the parent, understand the teacher’s expectations for your child, and how you can help them meet those. It’s also important that you convey to the teacher your child’s goals and ask for their collaboration in helping your child reach those.

You’ll also want to ensure that you’re both aware of your child’s strengths and weaknesses and are working on approaches that will support your child to grow and develop. This might include making plans for your support at home, or for the teacher to help provide some modifications in the classroom.

Always remember that good grades is only one part of the equation. When you’re thinking about your child’s goals (or better yet, when they’re thinking about them), make sure you place emphasis on other non-grade-related goals, such as being a good classroom citizen, being kind in the playground and participating well in class.


Consistency is the third element in a good parent-teacher relationship. Being consistent means continually backing your child in a way that supports their goals and the teacher’s expectations. It means encouraging their learning at home, and creating routines that support that learning. This might be around homework time, reading to your child or even encouraging enough sleep. All of these help contribute to your child’s success and well-being at school and shows them that you value schooling and learning generally.

It’s also important to consistently communicate with your teacher and demonstrate that you take your role in the partnership of teaching your child seriously. When you do, your teacher is more likely to reach out to you when there are concerns or even opportunities. And they will be more open to collaborating on your child’s education generally.

New Year, Fresh Start

The new school year is a great time to start fresh with a new teacher. And it’s the perfect time to establish a good ‘working’ relationship together. Your parent-teacher relationship will have a fantastic impact on your child’s growth, learning and development and help your child see that they have the support at home and at school to reach their best potential.

Author: Di O’Malley – Founder and Managing Director of Young Minds Health and Development Network, and Counselling Psychologist.

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