The last school year looked very different for everyone, but one thing that we all had in common was the loss of a normal school setting. The abrupt end to the 2019-2020 school year brought attention to the importance of teachers. Parents began to create funny memes about teachers deserving unlimited supply of wine, and there were several posts praising teachers in their challenging jobs. The social media content surrounding teachers was a huge trend— a trend I can get on board with!
Teachers saw an increase in the number of parents who reached out asking how they can help their child succeed. Many teachers came to the conclusion that there are parents and guardians who want to be involved in their kid’s education and don’t know how.
My hope is that elaborating on what parent involvement looks like through a co-teaching approach will help motivate more parents to get involved. The concept of co-teaching your child can sound intimidating if you are thinking of the curriculum and content itself.
Co-teaching follows a one-teach, one-observe model. The school teacher teaches in the school setting while the co-teachers/parents assist to facilitate maximum learning. There are many ways to be actively involved in your child’s education but I’m going to list three that take very little prep work and lead to success.
Keep Track of School Paperwork
Make a photo album in your phone and title it with the school year and child’s name. As you get papers from teachers, take pictures of them and save them in that album so that you can always reference them. Those papers contain information about what they are doing in school, important dates, and contact information. If it is on your phone, the chances of you always having them with you to reference are high. You can also make notes about the teacher based on what your student tells you, which becomes useful when you’re wanting to get teachers an appreciation gift.
Maintain Connection with Teachers All Year Long
Find a way to keep connected with your child’s teachers. Don’t wait until parent-teacher conferences. Students who know that the teacher and parent communicate on a regular basis tend to be more engaged at school and are more willing to talk about school at home. It can boost a child’s confidence by seeing consistency. Parents who reach out once or twice a month to check how their child is doing at school opens a door for conversation about behavioral changes. It can also be an opportunity for a teacher to get to have more positive conversations with parents. It is important to know that teachers don’t just want to hear from you when grades are low or when there are issues to address. They love getting to brag about your kids and learning about their accomplishments outside of school.
Watch Your Tone
Be mindful of your tone when talking about school, a teacher, a class, or even an assignment. Children pick up on these tones and will mirror what they see and hear from you. You won’t always agree with a teacher’s way of teaching or school/class procedures and that is OK. Addressing specific concerns in a respectful manner will teach students appropriate ways to have discussions with teachers.
Being a co-teacher in your child’s education doesn’t have to be added work to your life. It could in fact make life feel a little less stressful. Please know that most teachers know how to help your child succeed and just need a little input from those who know the students best! At the end of the day, you and your child’s teacher have the same end goal and that is to give your child the best learning experience.