Connecting with Your Child’s School
● By Hood Magazine
By Ben Schumacher, Communications Specialist, Sioux Falls School District
It’s probably no surprise to parents that during the school year, your child’s teacher spends more waking hours with them than you do. That’s why it’s so critically important to build a relationship with your child’s teacher from the very first day.
If parents and teachers are to be an educational team, they must communicate. Often. Some elementary teachers ask parents to fill out an inventory of their child’s personality at the start of a new year – a useful tool that helps identify the child’s learning style, fears, and areas in which they are confident. If your child’s teacher doesn’t have a vehicle for receiving this information, you may wish to provide him/her your own written assessment via email or letter.
While personal communication is always best, it’s important to remember teachers are not typically available to take phone calls or conduct long, after-hours meetings when it might be most convenient for parents. Teachers’ work days are devoted to their students, so be patient – giving them ample time to get back to you in a mode that works best for them. Caution: Emails may come at all hours. Teachers rarely work an eight-hour day!
Parent-teacher conferences are great for connecting, but they’re designed to inform parents of their child’s progress after the first and third quarters. In some cases, waiting until conference time is not soon enough.
If you’re interested in taking an even more active role in your child’s education, there are plenty of opportunities to serve on committees for activities, curriculum, budget and everything in between. Check your school’s website for these opportunities and find activity calendars, breakfast and lunch menus, school vacation days, etc.
While there, sign up for Infinite Campus – an easy-to-use tool that allows you to email your child’s teachers, receive up-to-the-minute grades, the status of assignments, attendance and more. Next, check to see if your school has an app, and don’t forget to check your inbox often for your school’s electronic and/or print newsletter.
Take the time to get – and stay – connected. Your
children will benefit from your investment in their education.