What Types of Questions Should I Ask My Child’s Teacher?
Parents are their child's primary educators, and teachers are important companions on this journey. As a child progresses through 12th grade, they may have had more than 40 different teachers. Each of these teachers will reach your child in a different way, and each of them will share your same mission: Help that child be the best they can be. Since parents and teachers are meant to be a team, interacting with great questions and conversation along the way will help accomplish that mission. As we work together to help God’s children become what they are meant to be, here are some helpful ideas:
• Character trumps academics. Great grades won’t help kids get to heaven, but traits such as honesty, kindness, mercy and compassion will. Make sure to ask about how your child is interacting with others. Ask if they are a good and polite friend to others and if they demonstrate respect for authority. Those are things that matter deeply as they navigate their way through school and through life.
• When discussing academic performance, ask the teacher if their work matches their ability. Don’t ask if they are the smartest or have the highest scores; the bigger questions are: How are they showing growth and improvement, and are the gains equal to the investment and God-given abilities? The goal is to help them achieve THEIR best, not THE best.
• Ask what frustrates, encourages, excites and disappoints your child at school. These questions are a great window to their emotional health in the school environment. Good teachers will ask you the same questions about them at home.
• Little things can become big things, so ask questions and communicate early. Your child needs to know their education is important and that you and their teacher are working together to help them do their best and be successful and happy at school.
• The most important question of all is: “How can I help?” It should come from both the parent and the teacher. Blaming and excuses aren’t helpful. A willingness to find the positive, and work toward solutions, is what our students need most from us.
Sheri Wohlfert is a Catholic school teacher, speaker, writer and founder of Joyful Words Ministries. Sheri blogs at www.joyfulwords.org.