I’ve observed many colleagues who are uncomfortable letting their hair down, so to speak, causing them to seem aloof and unapproachable. They feel as if they are above their students and parents. It shows in the way they deal with them. They will never admit that they’ve made a mistake, and if a child points something out to them, they become defensive, angry and mean. When this occurs, the kids and parents feel alienated and you’ll have an uphill battle for the rest of the year.
One of the main things I realized, after years of teaching, is that parents need you to care about their child, they want you to make their learning experience interesting, challenging and fun. The best way to do this is to make sure their little one knows that you are there to listen, and support them with positive reinforcement and encouragement. It’s also important that they realize you are human, you make mistakes, and you can laugh at yourself. Once you’ve established a good rapport with the kids, and they like you, the parents will like you as well. They will do just about anything for you and you will be able to maintain the optimal environment for learning.