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Start Early – Getting teachers, administrators and other school officials familiar with you in the beginning is a great way to get your student on track for academic success. Once you know your student’s teachers, make note of their preferred form of communication and check in routinely. Technological advancements have made it easier than ever for educators to stay in touch with their students’ parents. Many even develop their own webpages through which they receive messages and share important classroom information.
Save the Date for Parent Events – Schools usually schedule parent-teacher conferences and open houses after school hours to better accommodate parents’ busy schedules. These provide great opportunities to interact with your student’s teachers and build a positive working relationship, so it means a lot when parents and guardians can find the time to participate. Having already built a positive rapport with your student’s educators will be particularly helpful if problems arise that require their assistance later in the year.
Join the PTA or PTO – Many schools have a parent-teacher association or organization in place for parents and guardians to talk about school-related topics that are important to parents and families. These organizations often arrange special events and extracurricular activities throughout the school year, and it is a great way for parents to get to know one another.
Lend a Hand – The saying, “Many hands make light work” certainly rings true in schools. Teachers are always looking for parental assistance in and out of the classroom. If you have spare time, ask your student’s teacher if they have any specific needs with which you can assist and consider signing up to chaperone a field trip or work at a school-wide event. In addition to helping the school’s teachers and administrators, this will provide an opportunity for you to spend valuable time with your student.
You can visit the Florida Department of Education website for more information about the benefits of your local parent-teacher organization.