You have chosen us to be a partner in your child’s education. What we do at school should be a seamless transition from the education you provide your child outside of school. We, the parents, teachers and the child work in support of one another to provide the best for the child. There are many opportunities that arise throughout the year that show that support. One of the most important opportunities is through open communication between home and school.
Communication can be in the form of phone calls, written messages, brief notes, email, or formal conferences. This provides teachers with an avenue to inform parents about progress, goals, areas of concern. For the partnership to be affective, the parents also play a vital role in communication. Both parents and teachers must be dedicated to providing information that is relevant to the child. What happens outside of school can easily affect the child’s attitude, disposition, level of energy, focus and overall mood.
Although the children are young and may appear to be unaware of the specifics of ‘grown up’ situations, they can easily be affected by those ‘grown up’ changes. You may not share information with your child about the loss or change of a job; but he can certainly feel your higher level of stress or confusion about the future. This in turn may make your child feel stressed or confused but without knowing why. As the domino effect continues, he may have a hard time concentrating at school or being kind to friends. This in turn, may lead the teacher to mistakenly believe the child has become a behavioral problem. Before the situation escalates to this point, please consider sharing this information with your child’s teacher. A simple word or short explanation about home events, can curtail many behavioral problems at school, even if you think they won’t affect your child.
Home situations that are encouraged to be shared with your child’s teacher:
- Change in job status of either mom or dad…even if it is cutting back hours or picking up more hours.
- Separation of parents or more involvement with a parent that has been separated.
- Relatives coming to visit or stay for extended periods of time.
- Illness in the family (sibling, parents). If a younger sibling is staying home from school sick, the child may see this as a special treat for the sibling to get to stay home.
- Travel for one or both of the parents.
- New pet.
- Difference in routines. I.e.: new bed time rituals, new dinner routine.
- Change of bedrooms or sleeping arrangements.
- Construction or renovation at the home.
In many of these situations, if the teachers know about the changes at home, she can be ready to help the child as he processes and deals with those changes. An extra hug, more time spent one on one with the child, more positive attention, providing a listening ear and simply understanding on the teacher’s part can help the child at the onset of changes.
The more proactive you are with communicating with your child’s teacher and involving her in your child’s life, the better off your child will be. Many questions or issues can be curtailed before they arise with this open communication. Please commit yourself to this honest and open communication to provide the best for your child.