Be the Teacher's Pet: Working with Your Child's Teacher

When you get along with the teacher, your kid benefits big-time. Check out our tips to make a good first impression -- and build a great parent-teacher relationship.

Do You Ask the Right Questions?

Teachers expect that you'll have tons of questions about the year ahead, but try not to turn your first meeting into an interrogation. "You don't want to overwhelm the teacher right from the start or go in with a preconceived idea of what your child should accomplish," says Erika V. Shearin Karres, EdD, author of A+ Teachers: How to Empower Your Child's Teacher, and Your Child, to Excellence.

Instead, ask just a few questions that show you're a team player. Keep the first meeting upbeat -- you might start off with a compliment, such as, "I really love the way you decorated the classroom." Then, ask questions that focus on collaboration: "How can I help you in the classroom? Can I contribute any supplies you might need?"

Try to stay positive for the first few weeks and save judgments or critiques for later. After all, the teacher needs time to get to know your kid and identify her behavioral quirks and learning style, and that will take some trial and error.

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