I asked MomtoS&E to try to write some helpful tips for dealing with educators in the most effective ways. She collaborated with some of her colleagues and this is what they came up with!! Thanks so much!!

This includes childcare providers, teachers etc

Treat educators like the professionals they are:

If you need to speak to the educator in person, please send a note requesting a meeting. Don’t just pop in. You wouldn’t do it to your doctor or even your hairstylist right? If you request a meeting, the educator will then be prepared to give you the time you deserve. In your note, explain why you would like to meet. If it’s about academic progress the educator can have materials prepared.
Arrive at meetings prepared. Bring a list of your concerns.

Write short notes/emails: If your concern can be addressed in written format (picking child up, dentist appointment, homework concerns etc) write a note. Keep your communication brief and specific. Don’t be upset if you don’t receive an immediate response. If after a few days you haven’t heard back, contact the educator to ensure they received your note. (Especially if you sent it with your child)

Communicate:

Inform your child’s educator of any change in your child’s home life (family turmoil, loss, change in medication etc)

Don’t just assume the teacher is aware of everything. Kids are pretty good at keeping secrets. For example, your child’s educator might not be aware that bullying is taking place.

Educators aren’t perfect. If something happens that upsets you, express your concerns. Educators might not be aware that something upsetting has happened.

Remember, there are always two sides to every story. It’s important to acknowledge your child’s feelings and description of events that take place at school. However, it’s equally important that you keep an open mind and listen to what the educator has to say before making a judgment.

Be considerate and flexible:

Don’t go above an educator’s head without first trying to communicate. You want to establish and maintain a positive relationship with your child’s educator. Going directly to the supervisor, principal or superintendent is just not cool. You need to speak with the educator first.

Educators have lives too. If you can only meet after 6pm don’t be surprised if the educator isn’t willing to accommodate your request for a meeting. Perhaps you can schedule a telephone conference during your lunch hour.

Remember that you are part of a team:

Your attitude about education will influence your child’s attitude. Support what is being done in the classroom. Help keep your child organized. Look at their school work and teach your child how to manage time and materials. Practice what is being done in the classroom. Read together. If your child is struggling with a concept, ask for tips and techniques.