What is a healthy parent-teacher relationship?

Don’t be confrontational, the teacher is not the enemy, they are there to work with you to unlock your child’s potential. If anything is bothering you try to have a friendly conversation about what you can do together to fix this. 

Don’t try to socialise and become the teacher’s best friend. Being friendly is great, but teachers can’t chat to every parent for half an hour during morning drop off while the children are running wild. During parent’s evenings the teacher would like you to use this time to make sure that your child is academically, socially and emotionally on track at school. 

Don’t stress about all the little things. The same way parents who are not involved at all can make a teacher’s job more difficult, a parent that is overly involved, hovering and stressed about everything can also be tiring and can keep the teacher from really giving your child’s school work their full attention.

It’s okay to give a small gift on special days, however, don’t try to buy the teacher’s goodwill. A small and sincere gift when it matters goes a long way and people can usually tell when you’ve got ulterior motives. Other parents might also notice your efforts to buy the teachers friendship and this could put the teacher and your child in an uncomfortable situation.

Believe it or not, but teachers prefer a professional relationship with parents. Although most teachers genuinely care, they don’t want to become personal friends with all the parents in their class. Becoming friends can keep them from giving necessary honest feedback when your child is struggling or needs extra help.

Don’t expect special treatment for your child or yourself because you know the teacher personally or are an involved parent. Once other parents and children notice this (and they will), it could create social problems for your child with his/her peers.

Bottom line: Be friendly, honest, sincere, and professional and don’t expect the teacher to treat your child differently from the rest.

You might want to read about how parents could unknowingly add to exam stress.