When you have a chance to meet with your child’s teacher, you want to make the most of that short time. Many teachers have heard it all before when it comes to how brilliant and talented a parent’s child is, so don’t waste everyone’s time talking about your child’s wonderful attributes or his/her experiences at another school with another teacher. Instead, focus on the important, useful things. Here are five essential things you should tell your child’s teacher.

1. Family Situations

Without going into detail, let your child’s teacher know if there is divorce, death, a new baby, or other significant changes in your family. Here are some examples of what constitutes a “family situation” of which your child’s teacher should be aware:

* An older sibling is moving out
* You have a blended family
* You’re getting remarried
* There’s been a death in the family
* You’re expecting a new baby (biological or adopted)
* A family member, such as an aging parent, is moving in
* You’re moving
* One or both of the parents changed jobs, went back to work, got laid off, etc.

2. Health Issues

It’s imperative that your child’s teacher knows about any allergies or medical conditions your child has. Make sure the teacher knows about any medications your child takes, and what signs to watch for if there’s a problem (such as signs of an insulin reaction in a diabetic child, or signs of an asthma attack).

3. Developmental Delays

If your child has been diagnosed with any sort of learning disability or other developmental delay, let the teacher know. This does not mean you should demand special treatment or that your child is not going to be held accountable for the way he or she acts; it’s just important to let the teacher know that there is a delay in some aspect of your child’s development so the teacher can be prepared.

4. Learning Style and Study Habits

As your child learned the pre-school basics like walking, talking, dressing him/herself, and so forth, you probably got a pretty good idea of how he or she learns. It’s fine to mention this to the teacher; let him or her know that your child is an auditory learner, or picks things up visually or hand-on. For children who are farther along in grade school, you can mention the study habits you’ve observed in your child. Then the teacher can talk to you about ways you can support your child and help him or her improve.

Working with not against your child’s teacher gets the academic year off to a good start.

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