A positive parent-teacher connection allows everyone to work together toward a common goal: advancing the whole child.

At Elementary Blueprint, we are BIG FANS of our teachers. We can't say enough about those who exhibit a true passion to educate our children and hundreds of others. The role of an elementary teacher has evolved drastically in recent years as core standards and data-driven instruction have become the norm. Our elementary teachers' roles and responsibilities are so much greater than "just teaching," though you'd probably never know it by the smiles you are greeted with on nights like Back to School and Open House. 

Although each of us has attended school ourselves and believe we know all there is to being a teacher, what you saw sitting as a student only scratches the surface of a teacher's role. Teaching is a career that involves philosophies, strategies, content knowledge, passion, and tools. It involves keeping up with technology, fostering a growth mindset personally and within students, and continuous improvement. Teaching involves knowing and implementing multiple methods of meeting student needs and addressing learning standards based on students' ability, interest, and readiness to learn. 

In our mind, teaching is the greatest craft, and we have unlimited respect and support for our teachers. As you work to form a relationship with you child's teacher, take our advice: 

First Steps

  • Know your child's teacher's name: This may sound trivial, but the correct spelling and pronounciation is a sign of respect. 
  • Save his/her contact information: Emergencies and questions happen. Be sure to have the teacher's email and phone number saved. 
  • Get updates and follow classroom happenings: Understand how he/she communicates to parents and make sure you are signed up to receive notifications. Teachers communicate to parents through a range of resources: newsletters, email, social media, and applications such as Seesaw). 

The Meet and Greet

  • At the elementary level, your school likely hosts a Meet the Teacher or Back to School night. Be sure to attend and introduce yourself with your child. Take a few minutes to talk face to face, but don't steal the show. This is the teacher's opportunity to meet as many parents as possible. 
  • Find out if there are opportunities to help in the classroom or around school. Your school may now require clearances to participate internally such as a criminal history report, child abuse clearance, or FBI finger print. 

Parent-Teacher Conferences

  • The parent teacher conference is a big part of the year for both parties. This is the teacher's time to communicate strengths of your child and areas where he/she can grow. This is your time as a parent to communicate needs you feel need additional attention or ask questions about your child's progress. Our parent-teacher conference question guide can help you get started.

Communication

  • Email is a quick and easy way to get in touch to ask a quick question or send a quick thank you. Use this when you need it, but know that a teacher's first priority is to be teaching kids and moving about the classroom. Teaching is not a desk job! Make sure you give at least 24 hours for the teacher to reply.
  • An email concerning your child should never be multiple paragraphs in length. If there is an issue that needs to be discussed, it is best in person or over the phone in order to have recriprocal dialogue. 

Teacher Spotlight

  • Teachers and Principals do amazing things every day. From creative to kind, we have a few great ones you can follow for inspiration:
    • We Are Teachers @WeAreTeachers
    • PBS Teachers @PBSTeachers
    • Scholastic Teachers @ScholasticTeach

As you can see, elementary school is far from the days of thematic units full of arts and crafts. There are many moving pieces for the development of each child's academic, social, and emotional growth. Though your child will be a part of standards based learning during the school day, many supportive parents also wonder how to help foster growth and development for their child outside of the school day hours. If you are looking for additional learning opportunities and resources, check out our favorite place to be: Our Resource Recommendations