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As a new school year rolls around, your child is on the verge of spending the next several months of his life with an important figure in his life. From the beginning, you want your child to make nice with the new teacher. You hope that your kid will come across as hard-working, obedient and respectful.

As a parent, you want to earn an A for good behavior as well. Who wants to be known as the rude, obnoxious or phantom parent? Such parents are never an asset for their kids.

There are several easy ways for you and your student to get off on the right foot with the new teacher.

Sign up to help out. Volunteer to lend a hand in the classroom. Offer to help with a class party or a cultural, musical or athletic event. Or, offer to help from home by grading papers. You don’t have to sign up for every little thing, but volunteering an hour here and there will show the teacher that you’re an involved parent. It will also provide opportunities for you to get to know the teacher better. Your little scholar will love your involvement, too.

Send in a classroom item or two. Donate a box of tissues or markers for the classroom. Teachers aren’t made of money, and they really appreciate these small gestures.

Check your child’s backpack every night. Sign and fill out important paperwork or forms and make sure they’re returned on time. Also, teach your child to meet deadlines for assignments. When your student meets the teacher’s expectations, her life is easier and you give off a positive impression as well. If your school holds an open house or back-to-school night, go. Gather the information offered and take the opportunity to meet your child’s teacher. Shake his hand, introduce yourself, and project a friendly vibe.

Address your child's special needs right away. If your child has unique issues or needs, discuss them during the first meeting with your child's teacher. Provide details, share your contact information and open the lines of communication early on.

Don’t badmouth the teacher in front of your child. Maybe you are less than thrilled with your child’s new teacher. Or perhaps you’re realizing that you disagree with the teacher’s methods. Whatever the conflict, refrain from complaining in front of your kid. Above all, you don’t want to make matters worse for your student. Your child’s respect and behavior in class may take a downturn if she senses that you dislike her teacher.

Make the best of a potentially difficult situation. It can sometimes be a positive learning experience for children to understand that, in life, they’ll have to learn to get along with all kinds of people. But if the conflict is intolerable, talk to the principal about transferring your child to a different classroom.

Teach your child to be a respectful and responsible student. Try to involve yourself in the classroom. For working parents, participating in the classroom can be difficult. But making an effort to offer help. Even a small amount of help can make a large impact. The teacher will appreciate your effort, you’ll know him on a deeper level, and your child will delight in your involvement.



Megan Gladwell is an Indiana native and mother of four. She blogs at bookclub41.blogspot.com and can be reached at mlgladwell@gmail.com.
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