Oct. 24, 2018

How To Be The Teacher’s Favorite Parent

We have more direct relationships with our children’s teachers than our parents could ever have imagined. But the homework, online portals, and conferences aren’t always uncomplicated topics. Here’s how teachers say we can best support what they do.

When we were kids, there weren’t any IEPs. There weren’t any teacher conferences (unless someone was in BIG trouble). There wasn’t any school website. For better and for worse, the teacher/parent relationship was not something that our parents considered. It barely even existed.

Today our kids’ homework loads, the ever-beckoning online portal, the costs of a good education— and okay, our perhaps sometimes-over-involvement in our children’s lives— all mean that we are meant to have a much more direct relationship with our children’s teachers, and they with us, than our parents could have ever imagined.

We think this is a good thing. We also think it’s complicated. We also think it’s a great episode idea, suggested by one of our listeners who is a teacher. So on our Facebook page we asked teachers:

“What do your favorite parents do (and not do) to support your work?”

In this episode we discuss the advice those teachers gave us, including

what teachers want us to understand as parents

the beat-the-clock madness of back-to-school nights

how to get the most out of a parent-teacher conference

the things you need to make sure your child’s teacher understands (and they’re not all learning-related. Then again, maybe they are)

how to email teachers without annoying them

how to keep conversations productive even in difficult situations

Thanks to all the teachers who contributed their advice to this episode. Here’s two of our favorite answers. We’ll be keeping these in mind:

ELLEN: My favorite parents are the ones that follow through at home. They never blame the teacher. They choose to work with the teacher. You can openly and honestly address academic and behavior concerns with these parents because you know they have your back and you are in it together for the year. Finally, a simple note of thank you or support goes a LONG way. It doesn’t have to come with a gift. It simply needs to come from the heart.

LAUREN: I have been a K-2 teacher the past 10 years and the biggest thing that parents can do is listen to teachers and understand that most teachers have your child’s best interest at heart, are passionate about what they do, and are on your team. Those are the parents that I have always appreciated the most.


Green Chef,

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