Parents and preschool teachers shape the academic future of young children by using diverse tools, values and educational philosophies. The shared vision of building a foundation for educational success motivates parents and teachers to forge a positive relationship with each other, and therefore turn that vision into a reality. Good communication with your child’s preschool teacher is a cornerstone for establishing an effective partnership.
Share Your Knowledge
You applauded the mastery of developmental milestones and dried the tears of toddler frustration. And so while teachers use diverse teaching strategies to reach all the various learners in their classroom, no one knows more about a little one’s likes and dislikes, challenges and accomplishments, talents and weaknesses than a loving parent. The educational website Scholastic.com therefore recommends that parents share their wealth of information with their child’s preschool teacher to help them get a head start in building rapport, and so they can individualize the preschool experience to address your child’s strengths and weaknesses. For example, knowing that your child is shy will help the preschool teacher to plan activities that encourage positive peer interaction. (References 1 and 2)
Send Your Child a Message
Effective communication with your child’s preschool teacher also sends a strong message to your child. As you continue to be a source of positive motivation and encouragement for your child, communication with her preschool teacher expresses in clear, concise language that your child is loved. Your child’s self-esteem benefits when she sees that your love and concern extends beyond the parameters of the home environment, and that you are communicating with her teacher in order to achieve a positive outcome at her preschool.
Reinforce Present and Future Success
The National Association for the Education of Young Children reports that reciprocal communication between parents and preschool teachers reinforces language development, self-help skills, and social and motor skills, while also increasing the likelihood of future academic achievement. As the frequency in communication grows between parents and preschool teachers, so do the educational advantages for children. And communication with your child’s preschool teacher is no longer limited to attending regularly scheduled conferences and reviewing completed classroom work, which are of course important. Your child’s preschool teacher may provide updates related to classroom events, volunteer needs and the school calendar on a classroom website. Some websites even give parents the opportunity to offer observations, questions and concerns. (References 3 and 4)
Minimize Parental Anxiety
Watching your precious little one embark on what may be her first formal educational experience fills some parents with anxiety. It’s not unusual to feel overwhelmed by various questions and concerns. For example, parents may worry about whether the preschool teacher will take the time to listen to their child’s concerns, wonder if their child will be accepted by her peers or fret about how their child’s progress compares to other kids of the same age. Creating and sustaining open communication with your child’s preschool teacher can diminish your level of anxiety, while enabling you to team with the teacher to address problems and celebrate accomplishments. (Reference 5)
- National Association for the Education of Young Children: Parent-Teacher Conferences
- Scholastic: Team Up With Teachers
- National Association for the Education of Young Children: Family Engagement, Diverse Families, and Early Childhood Education Programs: An Integrated Review of the Literature
- Kids Health: Talking to Your Child's Preschool Teacher
- Photo Credit Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images