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Building A Strong Parent-Teacher Relationship

Building A Strong Parent-Teacher Relationship - Playgarden NYC

It is true what they say — raising a child takes a village. When little ones are infants, we get help from family, caretakers, and/or night nurses. As they get older and start school, new members of the village are welcomed in: their teachers. Your little one’s first teacher is one of the most important people they will meet and learn from. Establishing a solid relationship with your little one’s teacher can have significant benefits on their experience and success in school. Having positive exchanges at the beginning and end of the school days is great, but being an active part of your little one’s early childhood educational journey keeps you informed about their development, growth, and experiences in school. 

Your little one’s school is one of the first communities in their life, as they meet new people and make their first friends; it’s a time you don’t want to miss out on. Connecting with teachers and families builds a strong community for your little one to grow and thrive in.

Building Trust

Your little one has most often looked to you for direction and comfort. Their first teacher is a new person in their lives who will guide and support them. One way your little one will learn to trust their teachers is by seeing you trust them. Little ones are always watching, and they learn the most from observing how the adults in their lives interact with others. If they see adults communicating with each other clearly, they learn that problems can be solved with empathy and cooperation. Before the start of the school year, teachers will send out postcards or emails with videos introducing themselves to little ones so the children can familiarize themselves with the new adults they will soon be seeing every day. Trust is built through consistency, so a positive relationship between parents and teachers helps foster a safe environment for your little one while in the classroom. 

Overall Development

While your little one is at school, their teacher is the one with their eyes on all areas of development. Having a solid parent-teacher relationship allows for open communication about your little one’s well-being in the classroom; what they are thriving in and where they may need more support. Accomplishments, methods of learning, and behavioral habits are all areas teachers are trained and educated in assessing. Teachers want all of their students to thrive in the classroom and beyond. If your little one’s teacher has recommendations or suggestions about practicing skills at home or getting second opinions, trust their insights and take them seriously. Especially if your little one may need extra support, identifying the challenge while still in early childhood education can help find what works and help them succeed moving forward.

So how can you build a strong relationship with your little one’s early childhood education teacher? Here are a few tips to help you get started:

Introduce Yourself. Teachers have a lot of students and families to keep track of, and being able to put faces with names is always helpful! You can set the tone for a positive school year by talking to your little one’s teacher first thing — maybe bringing a small token of appreciation, or simply wishing them a happy first day and a successful school year. Share an easy way to get in touch should they need it, letting them know you want open communication.

Be Active in Your Little One’s Education. From meetings to class appearances, be an active part of your little one’s early childhood education experience. Be sure to prioritize being at parent-teacher conferences and asking questions you may have; learn how your little one is progressing and what you can do at home to support them. If invited into the classroom for a presentation or special day, even if it conflicts with work, take the chance to see your little one in their classroom interacting with their friends and teachers. 

Honor Their Insight. Teachers have years of experience working with little ones, observing their development and learning methods, and knowing what tactics will be most useful for each individual child. Showing respect for their expertise builds trust and shows that you support your little one and want them to succeed in their early childhood education and beyond. 

Honor Their Time. While they are committed to their students, teachers also have friends and family they are committed to. Teachers have time and space outside of the classroom, and being mindful of that is incredibly important in a strong parent-teacher relationship. Be sure to respect the teacher’s time by reaching out only when necessary and within “office hours.” 

Show Appreciation. Expressing gratitude for your little one’s teacher is one of the most important tips on this list. A lot of time and effort goes into one school day and teachers do it every day, all year round, sometimes without any recognition. You can give a note saying “thank you” from you and your little one, or anything you consider a small token of appreciation.

Even in strong parent-teacher relationships, challenges can arise. An important reminder is that you are both playing for the same team: your little one. Approach these challenges with respect for each other and remember that open communication is key in finding resolutions. Fostering an environment for your little one that nurtures and supports them in their early childhood education journey all starts with a solid parent-teacher relationship!

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Miss Julia - Playgarden NYC
Hi, I'm Miss Julia!

Miss Julia has been an early childhood educator for 5 years, with over 10 years of experience working in childcare. She has been teaching at Playgarden Prep since 2017, and is happy to share ideas on some of her favorite early education topics with you! Miss Julia has a BA from UC Irvine, and uses her experience in performing arts to inspire little ones every day in her enrichment classes at Playgarden. In her free time, Miss Julia loves enjoying nature, cooking, and creating with friends.