• Britt Riner

Building a Relationship with Teachers: Put “Impress” in Impression

Updated: Oct 4, 2020

Share a note with your child’s teacher on the first day of school -- or on the 19th day (it's taking us all awhile to ramp up) -- with a sentiment of partnership. Communication and alignment between parents and educators will help open a respectful dialogue that you can return to throughout the school year.



Communicating -- and communicating well -- with your child’s teachers has never been more important. Between schools “going virtual,” teachers and students wearing masks, and feelings running high, providing a word of encouragement and connection will help support teachers, create a healthy relational structure for your child to walk into (even if digitally), and send the message that you, the parent, are not only involved, you also are on.your.game. And let’s be honest, how many people can really say that these days?


Add points if your message is handwritten and snail-mailed (not a bad idea to follow up with the same words via email after a week or so if you haven’t heard back from the teacher, so don’t forget to snap a photo of what you wrote). Your genuine desire to know your child’s teacher as a human -- as a spouse and parent herself -- can only help your child be known.


Read on for some examples from Team Primerrily on how best to reach out to your kiddo’s educator. They may remind you of Mad Libs from your own childhood days, but these are merely templates for your modification. What you say and how you say it will depend on myriad factors, including you, your child’s skills and needs, your child’s teacher’s personality (what you can gather about it), your child’s grade level, whether your family is facing a brick and mortar, fully virtual, or hybrid model. Regardless of the words you choose, reaching out to the teacher will help you make a positive first impression for your children, making them stand out in a sea of potentially virtual faces. In doing so, you impress upon him/her that mama and papa bear are present.


Whatever your case, the signal will be the same: we’re in this together, you want the teacher AND the student to succeed, and you, the parent, know your child best.


---

Dear Ms. Staples,


We are grateful you are our son/daughter’s {name of child} Paper’s teacher this year! Thank you for your decision to become a teacher. More than ever before, we know what an important profession you have. We are excited for Paper to learn from you.


We would describe Paper as {three adjectives} curious, expressive, and thoughtful. When it comes to school, she especially loves {two or three things} drawing and playing hopscotch. Some characteristics we notice about her / are keeping a close eye on are {name one or two concerns / sensitivities} her penchant for rushing through math worksheets and reluctance to raise her hand when she has a question. To know our daughter is to know {what is the essence of your child?} pink and purple anything make her light up. It’s important that you are aware that {what is a change or issue your family is faces?) we are pregnant with our third child and contemplating moving. We’re doing our best to assure our little girl that she is just as important as ever, and we welcome all the help we can get!


How may I support you and your classroom, be it in person or virtual? Would you please reach to me as soon as you may have a concern for our daughter? These are challenging days for everyone, and we pledge to be active partners with you as we chart unknown waters.


We look forward to working with you as we join together in helping our daughter grow in mind and spirit.


Sincerely / Warmly / Supportively,

Pink and Blue Crayon


While any ol' note will do, check out these cute stationery sets for writing to teachers.




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