It is “Open House,” “Get Acquainted Night,”, “Meet the Teacher,” time, etc. Have you ever gone to one of these nights and felt like you missed a golden opportunity to get familiar with your child’s teacher and learning environment? Franklin Planner’s Get Organized blog had an article from a few years back entitled “Five Questions to Ask Your Child’s New Teacher,” by Stephanie Vozza, that I found helpful.
In summary, they were:
- How can we support at home what you are doing in the classroom? This shows the teacher you are on board with them. Let the partnership begin!
- What are your goals, not just academic ones, for your students this year? Such a question gives you insight into the teacher’s personality and teaching style.
- What is the best way to contact you? If you need to contact the teacher for whatever reason, communication is eased if you know when and how it is best to contact them. This may seem like a no brainer, but a passionate e-mailing mama may be less dismayed when her child’s teacher doesn’t get back to her immediately. They may only check their e-mail once every few days or once per week. They may prefer a written note or a quick phone call.
- What would you like to know about my child that would help you as his or her teacher? As the expert on your child, no one is better suited to inform her child’s teacher about her distinct needs, strengths, weaknesses, learning preferences, or situations at home that may be affecting her life at school.
- What is your homework policy for your classroom? This can vary by classroom, even with a building of several of the same grades housed together. It is very useful to find out what type of role you are expected to take in your child’s homework. Do they expect you to help him find wrong answers and correct them? Or, do they simply expect you to check that the work is done and return the work as is, so problems can be addressed in class?
A little forethought can make the night more fruitful for everyone involved and not just a walk into the classroom. Please remember that if you forget you can still contact your child’s teacher(s) and ask these questions.