ensuring success in children age 0-5 in hardin and marshall county, iowa

Early childhood blog

The school doors are open and your child will embark on a new year full of learning and exploring. One of the best ways to ensure your child has success in the preschool classroom is to build a positive relationship with your child’s teacher. With preschool starting in many communities this week, why not start this relationship off right?

Why it is important
A positive parent-teacher relationship helps your child feel happy to go to preschool and be successful in the classroom. It demonstrates to your child that teacher can be trusted because you do. In return, a child feels like the important people in their life are working together.

Communication is key
Start by opening the lines of communication between you (the parent) and your child’s teacher. You want to learn about how your child is doing, and the teacher needs important feedback on your child’s development or concerns that you may be having. Find out when and how your teacher wants to be reached, and exchange emails and phone numbers. Be sure that emails begin and end with a positive comment and are brief in nature.

Respect is a two-way street
Treat the teacher-parent-child relationship the way you would any really important one in your life. Meet with a teacher to brainstorm and collaborate ways to help your child, instead of delivering a lecture. Work to calmly problem-solve first, instead of confronting a teacher angrily if something is wrong. Additionally, never talk negatively about a teacher in front of a child. 

Let your child develop his own relationship with the teacher.
Let the relationship between your teacher and child develop naturally, and a special bond may develop. 

Be present
When possible, be present for orientation nights, conferences, school events, and more. Volunteer to help chaperone field trips, volunteer in the classroom or provide snacks for holiday parties. Doing this teaches your child to be a part of a school community.

Alert Teacher to Home Issues
Teachers need to know about issues at home. Traumas and illnesses can impact a child’s school performance, and when teachers know the underlying cause, they can often help children work through it or provide the necessary slack until the difficult situation passes. Don’t be afraid to let them know when a child has had a rough start to their day.

Use your manners
Most importantly, say THANK YOU...often! Teachers put in a lot of hours and deserve our recognition, whenever possible. From small gifts to cards or thank you notes, your child’s teacher deserves a note of appreciation. Practice “spreading the word” by honoring your child’s teacher in the community and with school administrations. Think about what made your favorite teacher memorable, and what you would have done to honor them.

These ideas will help parents and teachers work together so each child is successful. Enjoy the upcoming 2023-24 school year. 

Carrie Kube, Iowa River Valley Early Childhood Area Director

Disclosure: Carrie Kube is a Director for the Iowa River Valley Early Childhood Area Board.  All thoughts and opinions expressed are that of the author and not the Board and/or its community partners.