We at the Frederick County Guide love to support our teachers! Here are some suggestions from a former Elementary School Teacher to help you have the best relationship with all of your children’s teachers:
Set aside time to read with younger children and encourage reading as a positive experience, not a chore. Let their developing minds scroll through the pages of a book, not through a Facebook feed.
Keep Toys at Home
Even if they say that they will only take it out at recess, please just leave the toys at home. Cute erasers shaped like cars and pens that make fun noises will end up in the teacher’s desk drawer or lost on the playground.
It’s OK to let your Child Struggle (AKA: We know when you do their homework.)
While helping with homework is always encouraged, it is important to let the teacher know that help was given. Teachers need to know if a student is struggling to help them develop problem-solving skills.
Donate School Supplies
Teachers spend an average of $500 out of pocket for school supplies every year. That set of 24 pencils you bought in August? Chewed down, lost, given to a friend, broken, left on the playground or sharpened down to a nub. Just sending in a pack of pencils or crayons halfway through the year is always highly appreciated (and often needed).
If you Talk About it at Home, We Hear About it
Whether it’s discussion around the TV or at the dinner table, teachers will probably hear about it. The younger the student, the less of a filter they seem to have. Keep that in mind if you decide to put on Game of Thrones when you think they are doing their homework in the other room.
Please Leave the Cake at Home
Most teachers will gladly help the birthday boy or girl pass out little goodies to their classmates on their birthday but, anything with icing will usually result in a sticky mess on tables, faces, hands, clothes and supplies. Always ask the teacher before bringing in celebratory snacks, as some students have food allergies.
By the end of the semester, cardigans, shoes, winter coats, lunchboxes, MP3 players and more are stacked high into piles. That $60 coat from JCPenney? Unless it has a label on it, it will most likely end up in a donation bin once June comes.
Keep Open Communication
Always keep an open line of communication- whether through email or a phone call. Ask how they are doing in school, tell the teacher if they are struggling. Education requires the teacher and the guardian to work together.
Trust the Professional
Your child is going to act differently in a classroom of over 20 students than they do at home. Children lie, test limits, and learn how to develop appropriate social behaviors at school. If a teacher contacts you with a concern or problem, it is not out of an intention to single out your child. Teachers love their students and want to develop a positive relationship with you and your child.
Treat Education as a Positive Experience
School should be seen as a positive place for students. For many, it is a place where they will meet their closest friends, where they will learn to read, write, and find a subject they enjoy. Not every lesson in the classroom will be exciting, but it is important for students to know that a positive attitude towards learning goes a long way.
Write with an Update
Once a child leaves the classroom, they are still remembered. Send a letter or an email to a past teacher and let them know about how they are doing. There is nothing more amazing than being able to see a student continue to grow and flourish.