As the first half of the school year winds down, it's easy to shift focus to holiday plans and transition into “family mode”. However, winter break is actually the perfect time to take a moment to connect with your child’s teachers about the first half of the year and reset before January rolls around.
But, what are the right questions to ask? Do not fret! We've done the research and compiled the 6 questions you should not let slip through the cracks before December to ensure your child is thriving at school.
No. 1: Tell me about yourself outside of the classroom.
Use the first half of the year as a jumping off point to gain a more in depth knowledge of their teacher. Learning about their interests and/or families will allow you and your child to connect with them, especially when it comes time for tough conversations. After all, they do spend significant time with your kids.
No. 2: What are some areas of improvement for my child?
This may be a no-brainer, but it’s important to find tangible areas of growth for your child, mid-way through the year is the perfect time to check in.
No. 3: In what areas does my child shine?
Conversely, it is just as important to discuss where your child does well. In conversations with time constraints, it can be easy to focus on the negative. Making time to talk about positives is just as crucial for you, the teacher, and your child.
No. 4: What can I do at home to support what you’re doing in the classroom?
Use your child’s teacher as a resource to develop strategies around areas of challenge and celebrating areas of growth with your child, so that the learning doesn’t stop when they leave campus.
No. 5: What can we expect for the rest of the year?
Get ahead on the second half of the year by asking what to expect. Use this question as a starting point to discuss content, potential challenges for your family or child, and goals.
If your child is in a transition grade – about to enter middle or high school – start thinking about their next school now! Utilize their teacher to discuss what types of schools or programs could be beneficial for your child and to learn about different schooling environments; such as the benefits of small schools.
No. 6: What am I not asking but should be?
Leave an open door for their teacher to approach you with remaining inquiries or concerns. Not only does this reflect the trust you have in the teacher, but opening this line of communication will strengthen the relationship between you, your child, and your child's teacher for the remainder of the year.