Parent-Teacher Communication for Working Parents
Parent-teacher communication, whether electronic or in-person, is an important part of my child care experience and one I rank high on my priority list.
There is no worse feeling as a working mother than getting home from work and wondering, “What happened at daycare today? Did my son have a good day? What skills are they working on that I could reinforce at home?” Toddlers are learning so much about how to navigate their little worlds, how to communicate their needs, and how to interact with others that I worry our at-home “discipline” or “teaching” techniques are so far removed from what is happening in the classroom. Or that I’ve completely missed important child milestones. That’s where parent-teacher communications come in. Here are a couple examples of how I’ve had to adapt to being a working mom and how I find out what in the world is happening at child care.
Adapting Parent-Teacher Communication for Working Parents
Recently, Owen (age 19 months) was going through a swatting (ahem – hitting) stage. Because he couldn’t communicate his needs very well, he would get frustrated and lash out. We were working on this at home a lot but I was curious how this was being addressed at child care with his teachers. A brief conversation with his toddler teacher during drop-off gave me some more “tools” and “key phrases” to use that he was learning at school to better manage this baby stage. I’m hoping we turned a corner on this one (fingers crossed).
As a full-time working mom, I’ve also had to adjust how I engage with Owen about his day. When my daughter (now 6) was a toddler, I was her primary caregiver. Although it can be difficult getting preschoolers to open up about their days, I easily knew how to build on her daily experiences by recapping the day with her. I was able to grow her communication skills by encouraging her to share details about her day with daddy. It’s not the same with Owen.
But luckily, his teachers send me a daily “What in the World Happened Today” email to build our parent-teacher relationship and communication. I don’t think they realize how important this one email is to my day. I look forward to getting it. I’m eager to read what he did, what he experienced, what he learned at daycare. I want to be able to ask him about the “BIG spider in the classroom that was a hit on June 3” and the “new signs of the week – hot, cold, help, hungry, apple, boy, girl, clean.” I want to know that even though “the rain kept us inside today” that they “went to the Movement Matters room and did lots of running around.” Lucky for us on this last one — nothing like a toddler with pent up energy!
I also like the parent-teacher conferences for the big picture view into his development, but it’s the casual morning chats and the daily emails that keep me connected to Owen’s day. How about you? How do you stay connected to your children when you’re apart all day? What tactics does your school use to improve parent-teacher communication?
- E-family news: Communicating with Your Child’s Early Care & Education Teacher
- Bright Horizons Online Community: Getting a Preschooler to Talk about His Day
- Read more posts about parent & teacher communication and posts about daycare from the Family Room bloggers