Get to know the important school staff and how they can help
Why is it important to get to know staff?
I suggest that it is in your interest, and your teenager’s, to have a good, working relationships with staff. If you don’t, then you are giving up control. Many parents feel that they have little control over what happens at school, but this isn’t true! You have more than you imagine, but none if you don’t get to know the staff as early as possible – don’t wait for parents’ evening. Having said this, I recognise that you don’t have all the time in the world, so here are some priorities
Who to contact?
- Core subject teachers. These are the most important members of staff to meet. You need to be able to contact them with questions in a way that they are happy with – remember that all teachers are very busy!
- Other teachers. If you have time – otherwise wait ’till parent’s evening.
- Examinations officer. Very useful to know – they are responsible for exam entries and are usually more easy to catch than teachers. Call them and introduce yourself just to ask if it’s OK to call with questions about exams and courses.
How to contact them?
If you are reading this at the beginning of the autumn term, you may have to wait a while before the next parent’s evening. And even then, you rarely get to meet everyone and often don’t have time to ask all your questions. Parent’s evenings can be a bit crazy!
So, I suggest phoning and making an appointment to meet. Teachers are usually happy to meet for five or ten minutes either before school starts, in the breaks or after school. Do acknowledge that they are busy and you won’t take up too much of their time. The idea is to ask the important questions, agree on how best to get in touch if you have further questions from time to time, and to create a good working relationship.