Parents often have questions about details concerning their child’s school experience. There are questions about required or suggested supplies, lunch arrangements, school fees, lockers, bus numbers and schedules, textbooks, and reading assignments. The best person to contact for answers to these and similar questions is your child’s teacher. If the teacher doesn’t know the answers, he or she will direct you to someone who does know.
Class rosters may not be distributed until a few days before school begins, so the specific teacher’s name might not be available. Once you know who your child’s teacher is, you may want to contact the school to get in touch with him or her. In some cases, the teacher may send a note home to introduce himself or herself and to share a list of items your child should have on the first day of school.
In middle and high school, your child will have several teachers. Students’ class schedules include each teacher’s name and the course he or she teaches. These are often distributed through your child’s Guidance Department whose counselors work to assist you and your child. If there is a homeroom or advisory teacher, this may be an alternate option for contact.
For all grade levels, schools offer parent-teacher conference sessions, usually twice during the year. Attending these conferences provides updates on your child’s progress directly from his or her teacher.
Reading through all materials sent home by the teacher will not only provide information about the basics of the class, but also help you get to know the teacher. It is helpful to have a good relationship with teachers so that if you need help supporting your child or understanding communications from the school, you have someone you can call at the school who also knows your child.
Find out how your child’s teacher prefers to communicate with parents for routine inquiries. Schools have Websites, and teachers may have school email addresses accessible through the Website. Teachers may maintain a blog or send a weekly or monthly newsletter. Whichever method of communication your child’s teacher prefers, be sure to check it regularly. The information sheets that your child brings home at the beginning of the year will most likely include the preference for contacting the teacher. If not, do not hesitate to ask. In addition, teachers may ask that you provide your telephone or email contact information so they can reach you with information.
Other opportunities for getting to know teachers and the school staff members include volunteering to help with school activities, joining the school’s parent group, visiting open house or conference events, and attending sports or fine arts events.