Can you believe the summer is ending...again? With each new school year, you are given the opportunity to expand and perfect your communication style with your child’s teacher. Our learning and development specialist Emily Andrews outlined some effective communication strategies for parents that you can take into consideration to get your relationship off on the right foot.
But, we know that the beginning of the school year can be an incredibly hectic time for parents, teachers, and children. Establish a strong relationship between you and your child’s teacher is important. To help set your child up for success in school, we’ve outlined tips and templates to help you describe your child in letters, paragraphs, and in person.
- How to describe your child to a teacher
- Sample letter describing your child
- Describe your child in a paragraph
How to describe your child to a teacher
Some schools send out forms with questions for parents to answer about their children. Others ask parents to write a letter describing their child. Still others don’t formally ask questions and assume the parent will let them know on their own either in an email, call, or in the parent-teacher conference.
Whatever the case is with your child’s school, understanding how to describe your child to a teacher in a clear and concise way can help establish good communication between you and your child’s teacher as well as help the teacher be the best possible advocate for your child.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when you prepare to describe your child to a teacher.
- Start with a blank slate. Assume your child’s teacher knows nothing about them. Introduce yourself, your child, and your family structure. Let the teacher know if they have a nickname and what pronouns they use.
- Talk about their strengths and their weaknesses. Try to remove yourself from the situation and speak neutrally about your child. What are they good at? What do they need help with? Be honest because your child’s teacher will see it themselves anyway and it is best for them to be prepared.
- Be specific. When describing your child and how they are in school and at home, be as specific as possible. Refer back to past assessments so that their teacher knows what to expect and how they can be the best champion for your child. When you describe your child's personality, use temperament terminology so you and their teacher are on the same page.
- Keep it friendly and upbeat. This is the start of a new year and a new opportunity for your child to grow and learn. Their teacher is going to lead them on this new journey, so you and your child should be excited!
- Be a partner. In your letter, express your intent to act as a partner to the teacher. You will work together with them to help your child be successful this year.
Now, we’ll outline some tips and templates to help you shorten and lengthen your description based on school requirements and time constraints. This will help ensure you hit all of the right points so you, your child, and their teacher will be successful and happy this year.
Sample letter describing your child
Dear Mr. Cohen,
I want to start by saying how excited we are for this school year! We have heard great things about your class and I know Jeremy and I are both thrilled for a new year of learning and adventure.
I thought it would be helpful for me to introduce you to Jeremy in this letter and let you know some information about him from home and from his past assessments. To start, Jeremy (he/him) is an excellent student and he is really motivated to do well in class. He is definitely best at math and can do a lot of math in his head very quickly.
However, because he is so advanced in this subject, he sometimes disrupts the class during these lessons. His teacher last year wrote this on one of his early assessments, “Jeremy can add & subtract large numbers in his head and he is often bored during math lessons because he is ahead of other students.”
Jeremy loves sports and competition, so we were able to develop an internal competition to help pay attention and stay focused in math class. I will continue that process at home, which should hopefully help keep the disruptions at bay. But, if you see this occurring in class again, please let me know. I want to be your partner this year to help make class as enjoyable and successful for you, Jeremy, and all of the students.
At home and in his other subjects, Jeremy is very quiet. He might need some additional prompting to answer questions, but he is doing the work and paying attention. Jeremy comes from a single parent household, but luckily, I work from home so I am able to be there with him when he returns from school each day.
Looking forward to working with you to make this the best year yet for Jeremy!
Describe your child in a paragraph
If your school gives you a form to fill out at the beginning of the year or before the first parent-teacher conference, they might ask you to describe your child in a paragraph. We know, your child is your precious baby (despite how old they actually are!) and one paragraph might not feel like enough space. But, you can do it! Use these tips and our template to hit all of the key points.
Tips to describe your child in a paragraph
- Stay focused. Remove the fluff and keep it as clear as possible since you do not have a lot of space.
- Talk about your concerns. Does your child have a medical condition, allergy, bathroom issue, learning disability, or something of the sort? You want to make sure you talk to your child’s teachers about your concerns because it is the most important for them to understand.
- Use examples. Since you do not have a lot of space, spend the time using actual examples from the past so your child’s teacher understands what you are saying and how they can help this year.
Use this template to describe your child in a paragraph:
“Jeremy (he/him) excels at math but can get disruptive during the lessons because of this. His teacher last year reported that, “Jeremy can add & subtract large numbers in his head and he is often bored during math lessons because he is ahead of other students.” He loves sports and competition, so games and challenges help keep him attentive. In his other subjects (and at home), Jeremy is quiet. He doesn’t enjoy reading on his own but he will do it for class. He is very motivated to do well in school.”
Hopefully our tips and templates will help you as you navigate how to describe your child to a teacher, but ultimately, you know your child best and you know what needs to be said to get them the support and care they need for a successful school year. The team at Sawyer is always here to help if you are looking for resources or fun activities for your children. Best of luck ahead!