How to Talk to Your Class 1 Child’s School Teacher
July 30, 2016, Chennai
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For Parents | By Shubha Janardhan | July 30, 2016
Prema, Anjali’s friend was worried. Her son Ritwik was having a tough time adjusting in class one.
Your budding UKG child has started class 1. They are no longer new to the structured school echo system.
If you think you can be free and leave your child to their own devices, think again. Even though your child is now in class 1, there may still be many moments when you need to talk to their teacher.
The class 1 classrooms are still cute, but slowly developing along with your child, with their bright chart paper cuttings, picture boards and colored chairs. Walking past all the stack of picture story books, it’s difficult to imagine anything but a lot of fun. But as a caring parent, you know: little children can have awful days sometimes, and they can stretch into awful weeks, and sometimes a bad period cannot be corrected without a big talk with the school teacher. Having said, you may have read your share of guide books: you don’t want to be an over protective parent, and annoying everyone. You’re just starting out, and the last thing you want to do is to get on the school teacher’s bad side.
What should you do if a problem arises? Whether it’s something the school teacher said that made your child upset, or something that’s just not working for them, here are some practical ways for talking with the class 1 teacher, in a way that won’t harm your relationship:
1. Assume you’re on the same team.
Approach any parent teacher conference with a positive mindset– you’re there to talk to a partner and figure out how you can work together to help your child. Do not get defensive. As a rule, most class 1 teachers become teachers because they love little children and they want them to become awesome. class 1 teachers are not criminal lawyers or investment bankers; they’re trained educators with kind hearts. Think of teachers as your friends in understanding what happened with your child and how to work on it, and assume that they, too, want this conversation to go well. And remember, they’re probably just as scared as you are!
2. Don’t act confrontational or aggressive.
Even if you’re very angry or upset, start with a warm Hi and a smile on you face. When a child’s had a bad experience, or comes home in tears your own emotions too run high. However, when you talk to the teacher, first talk about the positive things – reading in the classroom or colouring. Then, and only then, discuss your worries. Your child’s teacher will appreciate this approach.
3. Make sure you hear the school teacher’s side.
You can expect your child to tell you everything they have experienced and seen. But usually, a teacher has seen the bigger picture and knows the real deal. Allow her to add her experiences, without interrupting. Try to hear out the teacher with an open mind without interrupting with your own views.
4. Choose your words thoughtfully.
When you talk with the teacher, watch out for words like “my child,” or “your job.” Do not be accusatory. Even though you may mean the best for your child, this may indicate a competitive nature of your child. If you push too hard, you may find that your child is being kicked out of the school – a situation you do not want.
5. Make sure you end with an action plan.
Here you are, having stepped up for a difficult meeting. Plan, plan, plan. You are getting a great chance to work with your child’s teacher to come up with a simple yet effective plan to make your child awesome. Make sure you come with all the areas that need improvement and the areas that could be improved for perfection.
Your child, of course, knows that you’re talking with the school teacher, and will be very curious. This is a great time to reassure the child that their teacher loves and make them feel comfortable. You do not need to share everything with them, but tell them all the good news.
And when everything settles, make sure to congratulate yourself. Cheering for your child is one of the hardest thing you will ever do, but it is something that they will be grateful for ever!
Shubha Janardhan is the Co-Creator of Nidara.