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Perspective | A parent’s back-to-school thoughts: Meeting the teacher

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It’s been a long year since my son, Miles, was in school, and I would be lying If I said that I wasn’t nervous.

The week before school started, I was met with uncertainty, second guesses, and doubts. Nothing could have prepared me for the impact of COVID-19 in 2020. Students, parents, and teachers all struggled emotionally and academically. After so long of not being in traditional school, I didn’t know what to expect. Would things be safe for my son? And was he really prepared to go back?

While the start of this school year is stressful, I am so excited for Miles to return. I know how important in-person class is for Miles’ development. My husband and I have stressed the importance of mask-wearing and hand-washing. Another important thing we did to prepare was to meet his teacher. It was important that we showed the teacher that we valued Miles — not only as our son, but as her student. 

A healthy parent-teacher relationship benefits parents. How the school communicates and interacts with parents plays a major role in the quality of parents’ home involvement with their child’s learning.

I’ve known parents who have only heard the bad things that their children do in school and not much of the student’s excellence. This can sometimes discourage parental involvement by making parents feel they can’t effectively help their children. Getting to know the teacher allows you to best understand ways in which to help your child be successful. You can gain ideas from the school and find resources and support. 

Students benefit the most from parents getting to know their educators. The child becomes more motivated, attends school more regularly, and has a more positive attitude about homework and school in general. When teachers have contact with parents, teachers learn more about the student’s needs and home environment, which are both essential to the child’s education and development. Parents who spend time getting to know teachers feel more confident with their child in the classroom. 

We have a long road ahead for in-person learning and getting acclimated to the school year. But I have confidence knowing that we have met Miles’ teacher, stressed the importance of his education to us, and communicated his needs to the teacher. We are confident about his return, and we look forward to seeing his year unfold in such a collaborative way. 

Kiara Ruth

Kiara Ruth is a wife, boy-mom of a public school student, and writer for The Banana Moon lifestyle blog.