Monday Message 2/12/18

Dear Families and Friends of Trinity,

I had the opportunity to work with Jacob Hart in grade 5 this past week. Jacob was the Head of School for the day and together we were able to visit every classroom, have lunch off campus (thank you Taquilos) and witness amazing activities. Hear are just a few: Mrs. Neblett-tapeworms and what lives inside of you, Mrs. Charpentier-Shakespeare, Mr. Wheeler- Area and perimeter, Beginning School-Move and Groove, Kindergarten was getting their wiggles out and Kennedy lost her tooth, grades 1 and 2 gave great suggestions on how best to improve the school, Senor Rincon-mapping out their homes and labeling the rooms in Spanish, grade 3-Sarah, Plain and Tall, Mrs. Noyes was creating valentine’s cards during art, Innovation Lab-learning code with RoboBlocky, Mrs. Newton-the water cycle, Mrs. Kelemen-multiplication, Mrs. Shaffner-helping verbs, Mrs. Miller study skills, technology was working on effective searches on the world wide web.

Progress reports went out on Friday and teachers work diligently to ensure they know your child well and what methods of instruction or Best Practices motivate your child to learn. “A positive parent-teacher relationship helps your child feel good about school and helps them to be successful in school,” advises Diane Levin, Ph.D., Professor of Education at Wheelock College. “It demonstrates to your child that he can trust his teacher because you do. This positive relationship makes a child feel like the important people in his life are working together.” Communicating well is a key factor for making this relationship work. “Communication on both sides is extremely important,” notes teacher Susan Becker, M. Ed. “The parents need information about what and how their child is learning, and the teacher needs important feedback from the parent about the child’s academic and social development.” But communicating effectively a busy teacher can be challenging. When’s the right time to talk — and when isn’t? How can you get the teacher’s attention? What should you bring up with her with and what should be left alone? And how do you do this without coming across like an overanxious pain in the you-know-what?

Check out these strategies for making the relationship work.

Approach this relationship with respect. Treat the teacher-parent-child relationship the way you would any important one in your life. Create a problem-solving partnership, instead of confronting a teacher immediately with what’s wrong. “Meet with a teacher to brainstorm and collaborate ways to help your child, instead of delivering a lecture,” recommends Susan Becker, M. Ed.

Let your child develop his own relationship with the teacher. “This is one of the first relationships with an adult your child may have outside the family unit. If you take a back seat and let the relationship develop without much interference, a special bond may develop,” advises guidance counselor Linda Lendman. “For young children, the teacher-child relationship is a love relationship,” adds Michael Thompson, Ph.D. “In fact, it may be their first love relationship after their parents and it can be pretty powerful and wonderful.”

Remember how you liked (or disliked) your teachers. Your experience at school is likely to affect your attitude toward your child’s teacher. “It’s important to leave your own baggage at the door, so you can talk about your child with the teacher (and not about you!)” adds Michael Thompson, Ph.D.

Find the right time to speak to the teacher. Always ask the teacher if she has time to talk at that moment, or better yet, when it might be convenient for her to do so. If a conference is not coming up soon, ask if you can make an appointment for a brief conversation. “Don’t expect to have an extended conversation during drop-off and pick-up,” advises teacher Susan Becker, M. Ed. “Mornings and after school can actually be quite hectic times. The teacher may appear free but she’s not.”

With warm regards,

Mark Ravelli / Head of School
Trinity Episcopal School
720 Tremont Street Galveston, TX 77550