From the day they are born, children are molded by their families’ habits, traditions, and beliefs. Each child arrives at school already having internalized myriad explicit and implicit lessons from their first teachers: their parents, family members, and caregivers. Parents should understand and support their school’s philosophy in this area, as a mismatch of expectations can lead to dissatisfaction and undermine their relationship with their child’s educators. Although different families expect different levels of interaction with their child’s school, most parents probably agree that it is important to have a strong partnership between the school and the parent, particularly in the early childhood years.
Some early learning programs allow significant parental involvement, such as frequent parent-teacher conferences, classroom or playground volunteer opportunities, parent coffees and presentations, and informal two-way communication between parents and teachers. Other schools give parents a more hands-off role, limiting parental visits during the school day and keeping communication more formal, sometimes with a specific schedule of mid-term and end-of-term reports. Parents should understand and support their school’s philosophy in this area, as a mismatch of expectations can lead to dissatisfaction and undermine their relationship with their child’s educators.
- What is the role of parents and the family in your program?
- Can parents come to campus or into the classroom, and in what capacity?
- What kind of communication can we expect from our child’s teacher, and how often?