When it comes to choosing the best preschool for your child, there are many things to keep in mind. However, one of the most important qualities in a good preschool is the relationship between parents and educators. According to Diane Levin, Ph.D., of Wheelock College, a positive preschool-parent relationship “demonstrates to your child that he can trust his teacher because you do.”
Here are some ways you can help foster a strong preschool-parent relationship.
Keep the lines of communication open
As with any relationship, strong communication is key to success. You may already expect to receive updates about your child’s activities on a regular basis, but it’s important to keep your child’s preschool teacher updated as well. For example, if your child has been more interested in reading than usual, or is beginning to become less shy, their teacher will benefit from knowing this information. Together, you and your child’s teacher can create a welcoming, educational, and caring environment for your child’s development.
Pick the best time for discussion
As with any important topic, choosing the best time for both parties to have a discussion is important. For example, if you were hoping to ask your child’s preschool teacher for advice on appropriate discipline, the busy morning drop-off might not be the best time for that sort of lengthy discussion. A good preschool teacher will be happy to talk with you during busy times but try to stick to more informal topics. Scheduling a later time to discuss lengthier issues will ensure both of you can contribute more effectively.
Keep an open mind
As a parent, you’re doing your best to raise your child to be a happy, well-rounded individual. You also know your child’s unique personality better than anyone. However, your child’s preschool teacher spends several hours a day with them and is also well-versed in the latest findings in early childhood education. You may find that a suggestion from your child’s teacher may be beneficial, even if it’s something you wouldn’t have thought of yourself.
Of course, as a parent, your role is most important. When looking for a preschool, trust your instincts about how well its teachers will give advice while still respecting your parenting.
While getting involved with your child’s preschool is not a necessity for a good relationship, it can help immensely. Becoming a part of the preschool community will not only help you become a more familiar face to your child’s teachers, but it will help you to understand more about the school and its values.
You have a busy life and many things to keep track of on a daily basis, and so does your child’s preschool teacher. To that end, remember that you are both partners collaborating for the benefit of your child. Work together to create ways to help your child, and keep this partnership going when things are going well, too. A strong parent-preschool relationship will help your child feel more secure, and develop a strong foundation for success.