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Communicating with your child's school

23 Feb 2016

Effective parent-school communication plays a big role in helping your child to have a positive school experience.

Effective parent-school communication helps you to stay connected with your child’s day-to-day life. Children benefit tremendously when parents and school are on the same page. In communicating with your child’s school and his/her teachers, it is important that you familiarise yourself with the various school communication platforms and channels that will best serve your needs.

Examples of some common school communication platforms and channels include:

  • School-organised events such as Orientation programmes for parents, Meet-the-Parents sessions, Open House; and 
  • Information-rich resources such as school websites, newsletters, school memos and notices. 

Attendance at school events such as Meet-the Parents sessions and Orientation programmes enables you to have a better idea of the school’s policies and programmes, and how they work for the benefit of your child. It also provides opportunities for you to engage school leaders and teachers in face-to-face dialogue that will pave the way for both the school and the parents to work out  effective ways of supporting your child. 

Here are some practical tips to building a strong working relationship with your child’s teachers:

  • Initiate communication with your child’s teachers. Let your child’s teachers know how you can be contacted. Conversely, find out from the teachers the best way to get in touch with them. Establish the most effective mode of communication that will work for both you and the teachers.
  • Advocate for your child and share information about your child’s personality, interests, concerns, behaviour and attitude with the teachers. Where needed, keep your child’s teachers informed about changes at home that may potentially have an impact on your child’s behaviour, attitude and academic performance. This allows the teachers to see any changes in your child in perspective and to provide the necessary support where needed.
  • When your child shares conflicts and concerns he/she experiences in school or in class, be intentional about hearing both sides of the story. Contact your child’s teachers to seek to understand the conflict and concerns better. Realise that even in situations where your child has been misunderstood, learning to stand up for himself/herself and articulating what really happened in a calm manner is a valuable life lesson.
  • When your child’s teachers share concerns about your child’s progress and development, be open to the feedback. Work in partnership with the teachers, to follow up on jointly-decided intervention strategies that will help your child to overcome obstacles. Check on your child’s progress from time to time to ensure that your child’s progress is on track. 
  • When you need clarifications on class processes and class-related matters, contact the teachers to seek to understand as well as to provide feedback, suggestions and ideas where appropriate. A two-way, constructive and open sharing of thoughts and ideas allows both you and the teachers to understand each others’ perspectives.  
  • Volunteer your time and expertise for class-related projects or trips according to the time and effort you can afford. 
  • Show support to your child’s teachers and appreciate the effort that the teachers are extending to your child, you and your family.

As parents, your involvement in your child’s schooling is crucial and your communication with the school and teachers is invaluable in bringing about positive change, not only for your child, but also to the entire school community.