Young People First: Navigating Parent-Teacher Communication | Local News


Research has shown that students do better academically when they have the support of their parents. Many parents are eager to step in to ensure success in the classroom, but it is important to allow your child to take on some of the responsibilities of school independently.

A parent’s level of involvement will also vary depending on their child’s age, abilities, and personality. Parents may need to be more involved in schooling for young children, helping them learn healthy study habits, teaching children how to communicate about their academic needs, and following up with teachers at school. need.

It can be beneficial to open the lines of communication with the teacher early on, before your child needs or feels overwhelmed. Many schools offer parent-teacher conferences, scheduled once or twice a year, where progress and concerns can be discussed between parents and teachers.

These conferences may look different in the days of COVID. Whether you’re in a face-to-face meeting with your child’s teacher or planning to contact them by phone or email, there are steps you can take to get the most out of that conversation.

Before you contact or meet with your child’s teacher, check with your student how they are doing in each subject. Take a moment to review their assignments, quizzes, tests and progress reports to determine their strengths and weaknesses.

Discuss any areas of concern with your child and answer any questions they may have for their teacher. Create a list of questions or concerns that you should use as a prompt in the meeting, in a phone call, or when composing an email.

Start the discussion by sharing a few details about your child, perhaps an interest or a strength. Next, discuss your biggest concerns, keeping in mind that your child’s teacher is a vital member of the team to support your student and their education. By starting with your areas of greatest concern, you ensure that if time becomes an issue, you have addressed the most pressing needs first.

Continue to discuss any other areas of need, including academic progress, how your child compares to peers, interactions with other students in and outside the classroom, or others. supports that can help your child succeed in school.

At the end of the conference, discuss a follow-up plan with the teacher to check on progress and set goals during your conference. If you find that you have additional questions after the conference, email your child’s teacher for clarification.

At the end of the day, remember that you are your child’s strongest advocate, but your child’s teacher is also an important partner in ensuring your student’s academic success.

Deena Bodine, LCSW, is a Youth First Social Worker at Memorial High School in Vanderburgh County. Youth First, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening youth and families. Youth First provides 78 Masters-level social workers to 105 schools in 12 counties in Indiana. Each year, more than 60,000 youth and families are served by Youth First school social work and after-school programs that prevent substance abuse, promote healthy behaviors and maximize student success. To learn more about Youth First, visit or call 812-421-8336.

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