Keeping the lines of communication open is important in about anything we do in life.
For teachers, it can sometimes be the difference between students having a good or bad school year.
Crystal Hazlewood has been teaching at Linton-Stockton Elementary School for 12 years, the last three in first grade. She knows firsthand the importance of teachers and parents being on the same page.
And there's no better time to start that communication than at the start of the school year.
"Teachers teach kids, of course, but without help from the parents, we can't get near as far," Hazlewood said Thursday during a break in getting her classroom ready for Monday's first day of school.
"Parents, they're very important. Sometimes (parents) think they're not valued by the teacher. I for one value them a lot. If there happens to be a problem, they can help me so much."
For Linton-Stockton first graders, there will be two opportunities for students and parents to meet their teachers. The first is Sunday from 3:30-4 p.m. at the school, and the second will be the week after school starts.
"Keeping in contact with the teacher is important. If you don't know the teacher at all, and there's a problem ... some parents will take a defensive approach. They say 'I don't know this person and they're attacking my child.' If the parent and teacher have some common ground, they can work together," Hazlewood explained.
Hazlewood said the beginning of a school year is a great time to start some good daily habits and routines.
"Once school starts, there's a lot of paperwork that comes home the first couple of days. Make sure to set time aside and go through all that paperwork and get it back (to school)," Hazlewood said.
"And sit down with their homework folders and backpack and go through things, especially when they're younger. If they see it's important to mom and dad, they're going to think it must be important too."
It's also important for at least one parent to work with their student each night.
"The world is such a busy place, and I know a lot of the time both parents work so it's hard to find time," Hazlewood said. "But if they can find that half hour or 40 minutes each evening to go through things, it's so important.
"Sometimes you have a student they seem to be OK and they land on their feet regardless (if a parent helps). But most of the time (teachers) can tell who helps like they should and who doesn't. We all love our kids, but you've got to put that little extra time in there."
There are some things parents should make sure to do before school starts, Hazlewood added.
"Make sure they have the right supplies, and begin waking up earlier and going to bed earlier," she said.
"If they ride the bus, they really need to know where the bus stop is. Practice walking to and from the bus stop. Make sure they understand what they're supposed to do if something happens ... kids get home and no one is at home, the parent got stuck someplace. Make sure they know what to do if they're not at home."
School starts today (Aug. 17) for students at Eastern Greene, Linton-Stockton, Shakamak, and Union/Dugger on Monday, and on Tuesday (Aug. 18) at Bloomfield and White River Valley.