The back-to-school season is an exciting time of year, but it can also be stressful for most parents. That’s especially true if your child is going to school for the very first time. Since nearly one-quarter of children under the age of five are enrolled in some type of organized child care, it’s likely that you’ll need to evaluate local preschool programs in your area and start getting your kiddo ready for class come September.
Although you might be accustomed to being the main adult in your child’s life, there will soon be teachers who will interact with your little one on a daily basis. And while one would hope this transition would be a smooth one, there may be issues that need to be discussed.
Whether you’re trying to get a feel for what your child can expect during a facility visit or you need to bring up a more serious concern with your child’s teacher later on, here are some tips for parents to ensure these interactions are as positive and productive as possible.
Assessing a Teacher’s Style
Before the school year even begins, parents of preschool children will usually visit a classroom at least once. This can allow children to become familiar with the environment and give parents a glimpse at what the entire experience will be like.
These visits can provide excellent opportunities to ask questions of the teachers working at this quality preschool program. You may want to ask about the average day in the classroom or inquire about specific scenarios. Any experienced teacher will be able to tell you what might transpire and how calmly they’d handle the situation.
While you should never be accusatory or attempt to get the teacher on the defensive, an answer that indicates the teacher is uncomfortable or dismissive in some way could mean that you two are unaligned in your ways of thinking. Always keep the conversation light in tone while bringing up the points that matter most to your family.
Addressing a Problem
No matter how well-equipped local preschools for young children are, challenges will eventually present themselves. Most of the time, these can be easily resolved in the classroom or at home. But in some cases, parents and teachers may need to discuss the matter together.
If two children aren’t getting along or your child is showing signs of behavioral issues, you may need to have a serious conversation with your child’s teacher to understand the entire scope of the issue and to discuss a plan moving forward. It’s also possible that your child might express their dislike of the teacher.
While certain concerns should be taken to heart, it’s also important to realize that your child’s view could be a bit overblown. Be sure to give these issues some time to work themselves out; if nothing seems to change (or only gets worse), you’ll want to discuss things with the teacher.
It’s best to go into these meetings with a collaborative attitude, as you and the teacher will want what’s best for your child. Aim to work these issues out without taking sides and try to build a relationship with your child’s teacher.
Communicating in Conferences
Local preschool programs will often have parent-teacher conferences throughout the year to discuss a student’s achievements and challenges. Open communication and listening skills are key during these meetings, as this is one of the best ways for parents to learn about what their child is like at school.
A teacher will likely highlight your child’s strengths and provide suggestions that can allow your child to hit other milestones. As a rule, it’s best not to get defensive in these meetings; any points the teacher makes are likely ones that can be worked on.
This is a great time to share feedback from your family, as well. Focus on aspects of preschool your child enjoys and ask for clarification on anything you don’t understand. Let your child’s teacher work through their agenda or report before doing so to ensure you both get a chance to speak.
We’re here to answer any questions you may have about our local preschool program. For more information, please contact us today.