Parent-Teacher Relationships | Mom Minute

June 01, 2014

With five of our six children in full day school, we’ve definitely learned a thing or two about how important it is to have an effective parent-teacher relationship.

Parent-Teacher Relationships

Today’s question comes from Susah, who asks, “How do you approach a child’s teacher when you disagree about a grade or think they are being unfair? How involved should you be?”

Parent Teacher Conferences

My first response is to say that you should be as involved as you can be. But, be open in how you approach the teacher knowing that you simply cannot have all the facts.

I am happy to say that we’ve been blessed in nearly all of the individual 31 combined school years our children have gone through, to have had AMAZING teachers. {Some of them were so invested in the success of our children’s lives, that they even follow this blog to this today!}

That isn’t to say that along the way we have not had one or two conflicting stories from our child vs teacher about a missing assignment or failed exam. In these cases, it is so easy to pent up rage against a teacher while listening to our child recant how unfair or belligerent the teacher was while addressing the problem. Sometimes we just want to let the teacher have it via phone or email, or go over the teacher’s head and call up the principal to lecture them about how this educator does not belong at the school.

The best thing we can do in these cases is to never assume our child is 100% correct. In fact, a better practice would be to accept only 50% of what they say as possible fact… the rest is likely exaggeration.

Next, schedule a parent-teacher conference where you can discuss the problem with the teacher openly. {It may be helpful to bring the child with you, because in an open discussion, it will be much harder for your child to exaggerate circumstances. Please know, at this point, the teacher is likely spending more time with your child in the waking day than you are.}

I have found that 99.9% of the time the teacher is truly invested in the growth of our children. I find that they appreciate, even embrace, parents like you who take an active role in your child’s education.

I am convinced that the most ideal environment for the success of our child’s education is when parents and teachers have an open line of communication, meeting often, and working together to ensure the child is progressing. An easy way to do this is to volunteer, if you can, in the class room.

My opinion is shaped from my own experience, plus hundreds of discussions over the years with my mother-in-law, who has been an elementary school teacher for over 30 year.  Also, over the years, I am proud to say some of my closest friends have come from among my children’s teachers! Some follow up with my kids even today, often congratulating my girls via my Facebook page for their many accomplishments.

In today’s discussion, I invited Traci Demuth, a teacher and Ed.D candidate, on the #MomMinute show to discuss how to foster effective relationships between parents and teachers. Click below to view…

For any of our readers who have managed effective parent-teacher relationships, what advice to you have for Sarah for how you were best able to do so? Please free to leave your comments below…

Happy Parenting!

4 thoughts on “Parent-Teacher Relationships | Mom Minute

  1. my parents are teaches at the same school that I go to. my mum teaches me 2 subjects and my dad is the principle of the school. its annoying sometimes because my dad doesn’t let me call him ‘dad’. I have to call him ‘Mr Aiton’.
    my parents sometimes ask teachers to come over for dinner. usually its fine but sometimes it can get really awkward. Once, the teacher who absolutely hates me came over! when we had dinner she kept looking at me funny. it was getting really awkward so I just stayed in my room for the rest of the night.

  2. My parent-teacher relationship works out well. They’re the same person and always will be. I’m homeschooled.

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