A new school year can mean excitement and anxiety. Your child will meet or reconnect with their peers, as well as with new adults. As a parent, making the effort to meet the adults in your child’s academic life will help to create a building block for your child’s achievement and hopefully help put your mind at ease.
Meet the teacher and other new adults
You want your child to have a good relationship with their teacher. Studies show that a quality student-teacher relationship influences children’s academic motivation and engagement. Researchers found that when parents participate in their child’s education and establish parent-teacher relationships, the child will exhibit higher levels of emotional, social, and behavioral adjustment and increased achievement motivation. Help your child do their best by forming this important relationship with their teacher.
Make it an obligation to attend back-to-school night, read the teacher’s welcome letter or otherwise meet them in person. Back-to-school night is an excellent opportunity to meet your child’s teacher and ask any questions about what is planned for the year and their expectations.
But it’s not just about meeting the teacher. Your child will be surrounded by both familiar and new adults. Think about who your child will interact with and make the effort to meet these individuals.
Who will your child interact with at school? There are other teachers, parents, the principal, counselors, the school nurse, the crossing guard, the bus driver, after-school activity leaders, volunteers, carpool drivers, neighbors, etc. You can meet the crossing guard by walking your child to school, meet other parents by attending a school event or meet after-school activity leaders by simply asking about the programs they offer.
Establish safety rules and schedules
Remind your child of your rules for safety. If he or she will be walking or riding a bike to school, make sure they take only a designated path and never stop to talk to strangers. If they will be carpooling with another parent, remind them to be polite and respectful and always say thank you. Reminding your child of rules that they already know will only help in engraining the importance into their minds. It will also help your child to create a school routine so that after-school activities, homework, play and family time are in balance.
Meeting and establishing relationships with the adults in your child’s school life is imperative to their education and their safety. Help get your child off on the right foot by meeting the adults they will be interacting with.