Getting to know your child’s new teacher

As you child starts her first day at school, a new role model enters her life. Here’s how to get the most from your relationship with your child’s teacher.

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Until the moment your child starts nursery or school, you and your partner have taught her everything she knows. Now, it’s time to let go and give someone else permission to be an authority in her life. But, your child’s teacher will never replace you in her affections, and you’ll never be your child’s first school teacher – these are two unique, valuable roles in your child’s life.

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How can you let go and let the teacher take on their role?

The crucial thing to know is that you and the teacher have the same goal – a happy, confident child who is eager to learn. Thankfully, most teachers choose this profession because they genuinely love what they do, so you can trust that they want the best for your child and have confidence in their ability to nurture and inspire.

They have trained for many years to do this job and have specialised in the workings of a child’s mind in much the same way that a lawyer is trained in the law or a doctor is trained in medicine. So while you may know your child better than anyone else, the years that a teacher spends working with many different children enriches her understanding of just how to get the best out of every personality.

Nonetheless, teachers need your co-operation to ensure their work is effective. So the sooner you see your child’s teacher as your partner in this adventure, the sooner you can utilise the school as a powerful tool to develop your child’s marvellous mind.

Give the teacher recognition for what they do – after all, what other professional has to work with over 25 clients all in the one room, all day, five days a week? And that old trick of offering praise and appreciation for a job well done doesn’t go amiss either. From time to time, offer to help out in class. But don’t be offended if, for the first term or so, teachers decline your offer, as it can be distracting for children to have parents in the class until they are more settled.

What if you have concerns about your child?

“It is important to work in partnership with your child’s class teacher developing strategies, ideas and approaches that can be used both inside and outside the classroom,” says Simon Brownhill, Senior Lecturer in Education at the University of Derby. “Planned meetings, informal discussions and home log books can all help manage any difficulties far more effectively than simply leaving any problems for the teacher to ‘fix’.”

The great thing about schools is that whether it’s the PTA meetings, school functions, or even waiting at the school gate, the school environment offers a wealth of opportunities to talk with teachers and other parents about your fears.

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Check out our top tips to prepare your child for the school routine.

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