#5 - Prepare
One of the best things you can do before talking to your child's teacher is to prepare. Think of it as a business meeting and you're bringing the agenda. Ask the teacher how they prefer to be contacted. Many teachers do use email but parents should take advantage of whatever the teacher has set up: email, phone, school hours, Web site, etc.
Understand that many teachers don't have a lot of time for extra one-on-one meetings with parents, especially at the beginning of the year or during report card time, so using your agenda and keeping the conversation focused will truly help.
Find a time that's convenient for both of you: not usually drive-by meetings during pick up and drop off times, in the middle of the day or in the grocery store. Be on time, be prepared with questions and stories, and walk away with a plan. Parents should expect teachers to be experts in their field but need remember they're human too. Many teachers are also parents who've been on the other side of the table.