As a teacher, the most important relationships are those with the children in your class, you have a year with them and you want to get the very best out of them and for them to thrive and be happy in your care. But as a parent it’s also pretty important for us to connect with and build a relationship with you, small things can make a big difference to us!
So what can help with the home-school harmony?
As I said a few small things, particularly in those first couple of weeks can help us calm those initial back to school nerves, I think often the parents are more nervous than the kids going back in, “are they going to be happy, will they keep/make friends, will they do well, will they settle, will they bond with their teacher, will they struggle with the new pressures of the higher year?”
Whether it’s that very first day in reception, a move to Junior School, Senior School, Sixth Form or just the next step, there’s always a worry, anxiety of sorts and something that usually can be quelled pretty quickly with the right support from the teachers. We can be an anxious and irrational lot from time to time, but we can also make a great team with the teachers and that as a parent is what I strive for so that we can work together to get the very best for our children. There is never enough time in the day for a class teacher to engage and have a conversation with every parent, every day, but for us to know the door is open if we have a worry is a huge thing. A teacher who is accessible makes us feel more confident and relaxed that we can approach them should we have a concern. An e-mail or the ability to approach them in class should we need to is great.
So, day 1, a new teacher a new classroom, lots of names to learn and lots of behaviours and personalities to get used to and understand. If going in after the first week, we see that the teacher already has taken the time to know the names of the class, it’s a big help, it’s a sign that the teacher has bonded with the class and things are going well, parent anxiety falls and we relax into our stride.
Helping homelife run smoothly. Communication is key; many parents are busy and clear information helps to make sure the kids are sent in with the right things on the right days and not a frantic dash home for the right kit, or if that’s not possible, rooting through the lost property box for a pair of shorts that fit! Writing in the homework book or these days, app, and making sure the children know what they need for the next day also helps - I often get reminded by my 6 year old what he needs the next day! Getting the right balance of communication is a real must, too much it gets lost in the plethora of information we receive daily, too little and it’s a panic in the small window before school to get things sorted and we all arrive at school in a fluster!
Balance. Parents need to see praise and opportunities being seen to be spread fairly around the class, it’s an obvious thing but it’s really important to us.
Punctuality. Making sure the classroom door is open on time, or even a couple of minutes early if it’s feasible can really go a long way for some parents. Often they need to get to work in a rush and a couple of “bonus minutes” can really have a positive impact on their entire day!
We know that sometimes, we’re not always the easiest “customers”, but problems nipped in the bud never grow and try not to let us stew on an issue overnight if at all possible.
For many, a little light banter also goes a long way, it helps us to let our guard down and again build a relationship with you.
Most of what I have written is second nature to many and doesn’t need saying but as one of those nervous parents approaching a new year I thought it would be a good time to reflect on what makes a good start to the year from our perspective and wish everybody a fantastic, happy and successful academic year ahead!