Forget Whether Teachers Like Your Child; How Do They Feel about You?
By Deanna Hurn, Founder and Executive Director of Miracle Math Coaching
Some of us are fortunate enough to be able to volunteer in the classroom, participate in the PTA or chip in to help with fundraisers and special events. And though I manage to volunteer at my daughters’ schools sometimes, I realize that not everyone has the flexibility that I do as a small business owner.
But finding the time to at least get to know teachers might have an academic pay-off for your child.
A University of Missouri (MU) study found that a teacher’s perception of how involved parents are can predict whether their children will be successful in the classroom. If teachers know who you are and that you value education, your child will benefit, according to the research.
“If a teacher has a good relationship with a student’s parents or perceives that those parents are positively engaged in their child’s education, that teacher may be more likely to give extra attention or go the extra mile for that student,” according to Professor Keith Herman, of the MU’s College of Education, who conducted the study.
“If the same teacher perceives another child’s parents to be uninvolved or to have a negative influence on the child’s education, it likely will affect how the teacher interacts with both the child and the parent.”
Here are three actions you can take to show teachers that you’re serious about your child’s education (courtesy of Education.com website):
Get to Know the Teacher. You should be on a first-name basis with your child’s teacher. Find the time to introduce yourself and ask for the best way to get in touch with him or her, such as by phone or email. Try to attend one open house and definitely parent-teacher conferences. I emailed all of my daughter’s teachers to introduce myself and let them know her academic coaches will be in touch. I also told them that we’re all here to support what they are doing in the classroom!
Read to Your Child. “The single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading, is reading aloud to children,” stated the U.S. Department of Education Commission on Reading in 1985. Grab a book, any book, and read to your child at least three times a week. You’ll plant the seeds for a lifetime of reading. (And mention that you read to your child the next time you’re talking to the teacher).
Get Involved with the School, if You Can. Attend school council meetings . Join the school’s PTA or PTC . If you work and these school-oriented meetings are scheduled during the day, ask if meetings can occasionally be held at night or ask another parent or group member to send you the meeting notes so you know what was discussed. Your voice counts – sometimes – and it’s the only voice that will advocate for your child. When parents unite, they can more readily affect changes in schools.
In fact, I’m thinking about running for school council at my daughter’s school one year! This past month, my daughter’s principals have added me to represent their school at the School District Board Meeting as a Parent Leader. I’m super excited, and now I’m not just another parent complaining. I’m a part of the solution and community of teacher, students, administrator and board members making changes that will benefit us all! I love feeling and being a part of my community. And so will you, so get involved if you and join the fun of working together.
Come in, and let’s talk about your student and his or her unique challenges. I’d love to help if I can. Give me a buzz or call our Miracle Math support team if you really want to learn more about how to help your student reach their highest learning potential (707-398-3474.)
Many parents and student just like you have learned so much from our FREE Learning Discovery Evaluation. Click here to sign up now. Miracle Math provides brain-based academic coaching that closes all past learning gaps, improves current learning performance and equips students with tools to understand how their brain works. Come join in and be assured that you’re making the right decision for your student’s future!