Have a serious disconnect in your child’s classroom and not sure how to handle talking to the teacher? Follow these tips to foster a happy and productive relationship between student and teacher, from The End of Molasses Classes: 101 Extraordinary Solutions for Parents and Teachers by New York Times bestselling author Ron Clark.
If you are in a situation where your child has a teacher you are unhappy with and showing appreciation doesn’t work, there are other strategies you can try.
Meet Face to Face. When you are upset, avoid contacting the teacher by email. The tone can be misconstrued and lead to bigger issues. Schedule a meeting in person.
Keep Documentation. Document attempts to reach the teacher, especially if they do not respond. It will be easier to plead your case if you have documented communication attempts.
Go to the Teacher First. Speak with the teacher first before contacting the principal. The first question the principal will ask is if you spoke with the teacher about the matter, and if you didn’t it will reflect negatively on your part. Follow procedure and give the teacher a chance to remedy the situation first.
Remain Positive. Never speak negatively about the teacher in front of your child, because if he sees you don’t respect the teacher, he will feel it’s okay for him to show disrespect in the classroom.
Promote Patience. If your child complains, remind him that he will have many different types of teachers in his life and that part of the journey is learning how to be successful no matter what the circumstances.
Make Learning Fun. Maintain a joy of learning in the home. Find ways to supplement the curriculum and make sure the light for learning does not dim in your child’s eyes.
Show Appreciation. Consider having every teacher in the school fill out a survey of their favorite things and keep a book of them in the front office. Check it often to find ways you can surprise, support, and show appreciation for your child’s teachers.