When should you talk to your kids’ teachers?

When your kids first enter school, you may be unsure of the etiquette around when to speak with their teachers. Should you call if you have a question, or wait until parent-teacher conferences? Who do you talk to about health-related issues? What's the best way to get in touch with an educator? All these questions are understandable, so here's a list of when it's a good idea to talk to your kids' teachers:

When you're concerned
One of the most common occasions that require talking with a teacher is if you are worried about something. After all, it is parents' job to ensure their kids are happy and thriving in school, and working with educators is key to making this happen. Perhaps you don't understand why your kids aren't earning good grades when they're doing all their homework and seem to understand the subject. Maybe you suspect your children are being bullied at school. Perhaps you want to know whether they are speaking up in class or doing their part on a group project. Your kids can only tell their sides of the story, and getting another perspective may provide helpful insight to ensure that you can provide assistance if necessary. 

If you need to talk about your kids' health 
Teachers spend a lot of time with their students and must know about any medical issues that may come up in class. If your children have any preexisting conditions, you'll likely meet with their teachers and school nurses at the beginning of the year. There, you can tell everyone about any in-school treatments like medications that must be administered, as well as what to do in the event of certain symptoms. However, if your kids have new medicines, changed symptoms or a recent diagnosis, you will need to discuss these factors with their teachers whenever they occur. Set up a meeting to inform the nurses and teachers of anything that pertains to treating and addressing the medical issues while in class, on school grounds or during field trips.

For regular occasions
Schools understand the importance of communication between teachers, administration and student's families. For this very reason, there are ample opportunities to connect. Most schools host annual or bi-annual open houses where students can give their relatives a tour and show them projects they're working on in class. Parents should also attend teacher conferences to discuss their children's grades, standardized testing scores and overall performance and participation in school. There are also plenty of fun occasions for you to get involved with your kids' classes and talk with their teachers. Consider volunteering to speak on career day, or go along as a chaperone during a field trip. Educators greatly appreciate hands-on parents and can likely use your assistance in some way or another. Don't be afraid to send a teacher a message or call to offer your help.

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