Three Easy Ways to Establish Exceptionally Positive Relationships with Your Child’s School
Of course a list this short is by no means all inclusive; however it is an excellent starting point for the development of exceptionally positive relationships with your child’s school. The three ways of establishing these relationships are to:
1. Meet your child’s teacher.
2. Introduce yourself to the school principal.
3. Join the school Parent Teacher Association (PTA).
The first step is to meet your child’s teacher. In our high technology times, there are several ways of doing this. You can meet the teacher in person, by telephone, or through email or other electronic means. The most personable method is to meet the teacher in person. Meeting the teacher in person allows for the communication and understanding that occurs through eye contact, voice tones, inflections, volume, and general appearance of each individual; both the parent and teacher. In these busy times this is not always the most convenient method for parents or guardians to meet their child’s teacher.
Another possibility is to meet the teacher by telephone; this is another traditional method of introducing yourself to your child’s teacher. Less personable than in person, the telephone method still allows for meaning to be conveyed through voice tones, volume, and inflections. Telephone communication offers a level of flexibility that is hard to match by other means of communication.
If time or distance does not allow for in person or telephone introductions, then one should consider an electronic means, such as email or SKYPE, just to name a few. Here we will focus specifically on email as SKYPE and other methods have their own logistical challenges. If you must use email remember that the tone of email is not always clear and is usually heavily influenced by the reader’s perception. In addition, email has been noted to generate misunderstandings between parties, from time to time, especially in sensitive situations. When sending an email as an introduction, consider attaching a picture of yourself. This way the teacher has some idea who you are.
Once you select your method of introduction, decide whether you are going to convey support and help to the teacher. Let the teacher know whether you are interested in volunteering to help the school. Remember, how much you are able to discuss with the teacher often will depend on whether you have an individual meeting or are part of several parents visiting the school, such as a meet the teacher, or open house event.
We now turn to step two. Here you should introduce yourself to the school principal. Often the best way of meeting with the principal is during open house; meet the teacher night, PTA nights, basketball games, football games, and other events. In most cases these settings will not allow for in-depth discussion, but an opportunity to gain better insight into school leadership etc.
It is possible to set-up a meeting to meet most principals, but keep in mind there is often one principal and several hundred parents to several thousand parents at the secondary level and scheduling can become a bit tricky, however, if you have a special situation that the principal should know about then an in person meeting should be considered. Again, just as with the teacher, other methods of meeting the principal are by telephone and through email.
The third step you should take is to join the school’s Parent Teacher Association (PTA), Parent Teacher Organization (PTO), or Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA). Just by joining the organization your dues will provide a level of support to your child’s school. In addition, to joining the PTA/PTO/PTSA you should plan on attending as many meetings as possible. This will keep you informed as to what activities the PTA/PTO/PTSA is planning and conducting.
This organization will focus on the students and the teachers that teach the students. The range of activities that a PTA/PTO/PTSA oversees is practically limitless. It all depends on the creativity of the PTA/PTO/PTSA and the school. The ultimate involvement with a PTA/PTO/PTSA is to become a board member of committee member. These individuals are heavily involved in the planning and execution of events and programs.
In summary, if you meet your child’s teacher, introduce yourself to the school principal, and join the PTA/PTO/PTSA you will be on your way to establishing exceptionally positive relationships with your child’s school.
About Dr. Crawford: Dr. Crawford has a Doctorate in Educational Administration and a Masters of Arts in Management. He is a book author and has written several published articles on education. Dr. Crawford’s Facebook address is