We’re a couple of weeks into the new academic year, and hopefully for most parents the chaos of getting back into to the old school routine has subsided, and attention can now turn to how kids are settling-in.
In class too, most new teachers (and their assistants) have had the time to get to know their students, while new friends have been made and playground alliances formed.
The next few weeks are therefore a great time to start asking your child’s teacher/classroom assistant how everything is going and what they’ve observed so far.
To help you, here’s our top WhichSchoolAdvisor.com questions to ask your child’s teaching staff...
Just remember, please don’t ask them all at once!
Get To Know Them Better:
We should all try to get to know the people spending 5 plus hours per day with our children. Living as we do in an expat society, it's essential (and kind) to help any ‘newbies’ settling-in to life in the UAE. So first off it's time to find out if your child’s teacher is an ‘old hand’ or someone ‘new’ to the country. You never know, maybe you can help them find a tailor to alter their curtains, the perfect spot for an anniversary meal or just something fun to do at the weekend.
Where are you from?
How long have you been here?
Is this your first posting in the UAE/abroad?
Academic Goals & Curriculum:
As an international expat hub, the UAE offers a wide and diverse choice of curricula. And, whether you’ve chosen for your children a different curriculum to that which you followed as a child, or the same- remember; teaching styles, testing and classroom management have all changed considerably in the past 20 plus years.
What are your academic goals for the class this year?
Do you do assessments at the start of the year?
Where can I find out more about the general expectations for this academic year?
How long do you expect homework to take?
What are your expectations of me during the homework process?
We’re a few weeks into the new term and thanks to relatively small class sizes here in the UAE, it’s a safe bet your child’s teacher has gained a good grasp of the abilities and personalities of their new charges, therefore now is a great time to find out their initial thoughts on your child.
How is my child managing emotionally?
How is my child managing socially?
Is there anything you think my child is particularly good/poor at?
Classroom Tech Use:
We all know the UAE is 'beefing-up' its use of technology in the classroom, but do you know exactly what your school/teacher expects of both you and your child this academic year?
What tech will my child be using this year in class?
What are my obligations re purchasing hardware/software/updating/monitoring etc?
What is the learning purpose of each tool?
Will I be able to access my child’s work for monitoring purposes?
Before use, has the school/teacher assessed the safety, created restrictions of the tool?
How much time will my child spend on the tool per day/week?
Are there any games/apps which you recommend for my child?
And Now... What YOU Can Do:
Teachers are busy people and many welcome (and need) parental support, whether that’s in the classroom or outside it.
How would you prefer I communicate with you?
Will you require parent helpers this year?
How can I support my child’s learning?
How can I support my child’s social and emotional development?