Communication between parents and the school becomes more important as your child gets older.  We give you some ideas about who to make contact with at intermediate school.

Keeping in touch

Now that your child is getting closer to secondary school, there is a need for you to be ever more vigilant about keeping in touch with his or her teacher. Pre-teens can have a habit of becoming more distant and as they begin to assert more independence you may find you have a little less to do with things around the school also. Combine these two and you may have to make more of an effort to keep a handle on academic progress and classroom behaviour.

If you are a parent or caregiver who is not able to be in the school on a regular basis then relying on school reports three times a year may not be enough contact. You should make an effort to phone your child’s teacher at least once and preferably twice a term. Ask about progress, ask about behaviour, let him or her know that you are a parent who likes to stay informed, and that you are there to back up measures that may need to be taken in class.

Who should be my first port of call at the school?

This depends on what it is you want to discuss.

My child’s progress or anything that occurs in the classroom –

The best person to go to about these issues is the classroom teacher. They will have the first hand knowledge of your child and what has been occurring during the day, week and so on.

The best time to catch up with the teacher is in the afternoon. Often teachers are busy readying things for the day in the morning and will be unable to give you the attention you need.

It is also very important that you take advantage of Parent/Teacher interviews when they are offered to you. This is the best way of ‘keeping a handle’ on the progress and behaviour of your child at school.

Keeping open lines of communication with your child’s teacher can become even more important during the intermediate years. These are challenging and turbulent times for a lot of young adolescences. It is often the time they choose to challenge beliefs and norms and may rebel. If this does happen to you and your child, being able to present a united parent/teacher front can be beneficial.

Things that occur out of the classroom –

If you have a concern about a one-off occurrence, your child’s classroom teacher will be able to help you with who was on duty that day and where to find them. This person may then be able to help you with your concern.

If you are troubled by continuing occurrences the best thing to do is speak with an Assistant of Deputy Principal about playground policies and so on.

You’ll be able to find the appropriate person by asking at the school office.

Events that are going on around the school, administration, fees and so on –

Again the school office is the place to go. The administration team will have their ‘finger on the pulse’ and is they can’t help you directly, they’ll be able to point you in the right direction.

 

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Kylie Valentine is a qualified secondary school teacher, trained journalist, and the mum of two fabulous children.

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