Fort Worth, Texas,
10:47 AM

5 questions every parent should ask their child's teacher

A local educator's advice for success in school

The summer's over and it's time to send your kids back to school. While parents have been busy buying backpacks and school supplies, teachers have been preparing to welcome new students into their classrooms. Here at Cook Children's, we wondered what parents might need to know to make the school year a success. So, we reached out to Fort Worth ISD teacher Karen Ownby. Ownby teaches at the Leadership Academy at John T. White Elementary School. She told us there are 5 questions parents should be asking their child's teacher as the new school year begins.

1. What system do you use for your classroom management?

This question is important because it lets you know the class norms along with what is expected of your child’s behavior.

2. How do you reinforce positive behavior?

This will give you an idea of the rewards and praises the teacher gives out in order to support a more positive learning environment.

3. What is your primary medium for communication?

It's important to know how your child’s teacher plans to get important information to you and vice versa. Maybe they send home letters or maybe they prefer to email. It's always a good idea to know what the teacher prefers to ensure communication is not hampered.

4. What are the top three things I can do at home to help my child succeed?

By finding out the answer to this question, you will know what new material is of great importance in your child’s new grade level. For example, Ownby lets her parents know that practicing multiplication facts was extremely important when she taught third graders. If they are practicing at home, they will be better prepared in the classroom.

5. What supplies do you run out of first?

This is helpful to know in case you would like to send in supplies to school with your child. Many supplies are used on a daily basis and tend to run out quickly.

Other ways to ensure your child gets the most out of the school year include setting high expectations and making sure they attend school on a regular basis (unless they are sick). Parents should also keep an open line of communication with their child's teacher and make sure they understand the parents' goals and expectations for the child. With these points in minds, parents can help make sure their students are being given the opportunities they need to succeed in the classroom.

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