Building a parent-teacher partnership is beneficial in many ways. Most of all, it makes it easier to communicate with your child’s teacher and get a real sense of what’s going on in the classroom.

The biggest benefit, though, is for your child. If you’re willing to form a parent-teacher partnership, both of you will be on your child’s side, encouraging them to succeed.

If you’ve never considered working on a parent-teacher partnership before, think about it this way: You both want the same thing for your child. When you develop a professional relationship with their teacher, you can work closely with them to make sure your student is as successful as possible in their work.

So, how can you build a strong parent-teacher partnership this year, and for years to come? Let’s take a look!

1. Meet Before School Begins

One of the best things you can do is to build a relationship with your child’s teacher before school even begins. Most schools have a registration or “meet the teacher” night. If yours doesn’t, don’t be afraid to reach out to the teacher and schedule a time to talk.

2. Tell Them Your Intentions

For both parents and teachers, it’s important to be honest and upfront with one another about what you want and expect. Again, remember that you’re both working for the best interest of the child. Tell your child’s teacher what you expect of them, and let them know they can and should expect the same.

3. Take Time to Listen

This is a tip that can be used by both parents and teachers. Listening might seem easy, but we often gloss over some of the important things people have to say. As a parent, it isn’t always easy to hear anything negative about our children.

Still, their teacher might not always have good news about them. One of the keys to building a strong parent-teacher partnership is being able to listen to any minor criticisms about your child so you can work with the teacher to help correct them.

4. Ask How You Can Help

One way to strengthen your relationship with your child’s teacher is to ask how you can help. They may have certain teaching methods or ideas you can use at home to encourage and assist your child. Consistency is key, by working together, you can create the best possible outcome for your student.

5. Understand the Teacher’s Style

Having a better understanding of your child’s teacher’s style can make it easier to continue those habits at home. When you know what your child is learning in the classroom, you can encourage them to learn the same way at home.

When you and the teacher are on the same page as often as possible, it will be much easier on your child and they’ll likely get a stronger grasp on their subjects faster.

6. Be Open to Answering Questions

Just as it’s important to ask your child’s teacher questions, you should also make yourself available to answer questions if they should arise.

Keep in mind that a teacher has multiple students to look after. They may not reach out to you often with specific questions about your child. But, if you’ve formed a strong partnership, they may be more willing to contact you if/when any questions come up regarding your student. Be sure to answer things as specifically as possible.

7. Show Gratitude

Parents and teachers need to show mutual gratitude toward one another. In doing so, they’ll have a stronger partnership and will be more likely to work together well. You both work hard to expand your child’s education, and do what’s best for them. As a result, you both deserve praise from one another.

Essentially, a strong parent-teacher partnership shares in the successes of your child, and isn’t afraid to deal with difficult topics and ask hard questions. The best thing you can do to form this kind of partnership is to open the lines of communication with your child’s teacher as soon as possible and let them know you’re on the same team.