Team Up With The School Teacherby EJ on 09/05/13
In my opinion, having the kids personally meet with their teachers early on, even before the first day of school begins, is vital to how comfortable and confident they will be that first week. If they're already familiar with the classroom and the route to that classroom off the bus, and already familiar with their teacher's face and expectations, then the first week nerves will be few or none at all. As a parent of students, I feel more confident, too. I told my Hubby that if he doesn't want to go to Back-to-School night, he doesn't have to. I will be there, however, with the kids, every year, until they're seniors in high school. Don't get me wrong, my husband is super involved with school work and at home, but I do pretty much run the show as far as interacting with the teachers - and that's fine with me.
Teachers spend so much time with our kids throughout the school year - not just teaching - but nurturing and organizing every minute of your child's day. They spend more waking hours with our kids than we, the parents, do! Given that fact, I make it a point to team up with my kids' teachers right from the start, to ensure the best possible year for everyone.
Here are some ideas for building a strong bond with your child's teacher:
Talk to your child's teacher at Back-to-School night or at the start of the school year.
Let the teacher know that you're looking forward to your child taking part in his or her class this year. Talk about goals for your child so you are both aware of your hopes and expectations as well as the teachers in return.
Don't push your expectations too hard.
Just because you think your child should be in an elevated class for reading or math, doesn't mean the teacher agrees. Let her observe and judge. She's the teacher, after all, and one of her roles is to assess your child's educational growth.
Kids lose a bit of brain power over the summer. The first month or so of the year will be spent observing and gathering info on each child and where they're at academically.
Never speak badly about your child's teacher if your child can hear you.
You might not be pleased with every teacher. My mother was a teacher for years, and I heard many a horror story about parents storming classrooms or the principal's office, aggressive parents that were upset for whatever reason. It doesn't matter what the reason is, you don't exhibit any of this behavior in front of your child or other students. Use e-mail, make a phone call or schedule a meeting, when your child or other students, are not around.
Understand that your child's teacher has a difficult job.
Teachers are the ultimate multi-taskers. As a parent of five, I know that things can get a bit chaotic with a house full of kids. In the classroom, a teacher must balance the academic, emotional and social lives of a room full of kids. On top of that, a teacher must stay on top of paperwork, homework, testing, meetings and communicating with parents.
When you send that e-mail over to your child's teacher, don't fret if you don't hear back from her right away!
If a teacher is good at what he/she does, show that you're grateful.
Teachers are under appreciated. If you come across a great teacher, point it out.
I've always enjoyed interacting with my kids' teachers. We're very fortunate to have an amazing group of pre-k teachers and assistant teachers for our little ones that function very much like a family. Everyone knows each other and greets our children by name, right down to the bus drivers. I feel like my kids are safe and thriving with the team of people we're leaving them with every day. That is so important to me.
When you look at the heroic actions of teachers in a tragedy such as Sandy Hook, you begin to realize how much many, many teachers really care for the kids they're entrusted with every day.
Send thank-you notes. Write emails just to touch base with a teacher once in a while. Work on a gift for a teacher with your child for a holiday or at the end of the year.
Make friends with the good ones.
Since my mother was a teacher, I was very familiar with the whole environment and inner workings of a school early on. I realized back then that teachers had lives outside of school. Teachers are people, too.
|All grown up, I'm still friends with my 3rd grade teacher!|
If you know that your child really likes a particular teacher, then get to know him or her. Keep that person in your child's life.