Forging an Effective Team With Educators – Part 2

In this three-part series, I will discuss Forging an Effective Team With Educators. In the first part, we discussed how to establish trust with educators, thus building your own understanding. Trust will bring about the chance to ask questions and understand first-hand how much schools have changed since you were in school.  In Part 2 of this series, let’s look at making connections.

In Part 1 we talked about walking your child all the way into the school and classroom by taking time to meet the teacher and chat for a few seconds. By doing this you begin to build trust with the staff and they with you.  At times, I have heard parents say, I am just a “Mom” or “Dad” as if that makes them somehow of a lower status than an educator.  Nothing could be more false, and teachers want to have parents as partners.  Sometimes this unequal dynamic that feels like you’re not a member of the education team give the impression to the parent that teachers just know what is best.  I encourage you to enter the classroom and be there, observe, ask questions to find out what is being taught and how accountability for that material is accomplished.

By asking educators what acronyms mean (we have many of them and often assume everyone knows), you begin to show an interest and the desire to be equal.  Questions regarding assessments and why other materials are used will absolutely be of great value.  These conversations need to happen over time and obviously need to be done in such a way as to not interrupt the teaching going on.  Still, they serve as an important leap to building a relationship with educators.  Attend school accountability meetings and you will learn a great deal about the data surrounding your school.  Very soon, you will begin to have opinions about what is going on with education and be able to share and speak the language effectively.

All of this takes time and there are no short-cuts.  Building an effective team with educators is worth the investment, even if you need to take a couple of hours off of work to visit your child’s classroom.

Yours for better parenting,

Rich