Thursday, September 24, 2009

Teacher Talk

Last week I posted about the hardships of teachers. I was actually just trying to get a frustrating week off my chest, but Christina asked what parents could do to support their kids teachers. So, I have been thinking about that a lot lately.

My list so far:

* Make sure your kids are fed in the morning. If this is something you can't accomplish right now for whatever reason, seek out your school's breakfast/lunch program and sign up for some help.

* Try to get them into clean clothes...and on this one, if possible, try to wrangle them away from their favorite sweatshirt a time or two during the week to wash it!

* Help them with their homework. Set aside a time and place to do homework and make sure it gets back into their school bag so it's ready for the next day.

* Talk about the Golden Rule with your child. If every one of my students kept this rule in the back of their minds during the day, we'd have a whole lot less nit-picking going on.

* Let them know that it's OK to ask questions in class. That in fact, the teacher will love having questions to answer.

* When given the change to go to a Parent's Night, Open House or Conferences, do your VERY best to be there. It seems that the kids whose parents are present at these activities tend to do SO much better during the year. Not hard to figure out why: both the student and the parent know what to expect in the classroom.

* Try not to doubt the teacher when he/she calls you and tells you your kid has done something bad. Sometimes kids slip up and the teacher has the dreaded job of calling home.

* Show your child you care: talk to them about their day, try to help them with their homework, study for a test together, encourage them to get involved with new friends they meet or an after school activity.

* Communicate with the teacher. As a teacher myself, I'd rather a parent call often than not at all. Email works great if you're not a phone person or if you keep different hours from the teacher. Personally, it takes only a minute to respond to a parent email, and often many minutes to have a conversation.

Some of these things may seem so simple, and many of you may be doing these things already. Keep up the good work!! Please feel free to comment and add your thoughts. I'd love to hear what other teachers and parents think is important!


Charrie said...

I had no idea what a big change/commitment FOR ME it would be to have a kid in school. Forget Lauren, she is adjusting perfectly! It is me who is having trouble adjusting to having a kid in school and I don't mean because my baby is growing up and I miss her (well maybe just a little). I mean getting us all up and out the door on time and making sure she has a show and tell that starts with "f" and changing my whole schedule so I can go on a field trip with her. I returned her school library books to the Herrick library because I wasn't used to having books from 2 different libraries the first week she brought them home!! And she is only in preschool, what is it going to be like when she is really in school with homework and everything?! I liked your list, I really want to be a good parent and have my kid prepared and ready to learn when she arrives at school. I just had no idea how much MY life would change and how much I would have to learn! So remember that you have to teach parents too, and then maybe remind them a few times what they are suppose to be doing, as a mom you know we have so much on our plate already...
Sorry about my rambling, good luck with your class!

Katie, Kevin and kids said...

Now that I have a child in Kindergarten I am much less critical of other parents and the way they did things when I had their children in my class.
I believe that when I return to the classroom eventually I will have a very different perspective and tolerance.

annie said...

Thanks for the great reminders! I tend to focus on the kids and forget that the parents who are supporting the kids have lives too. So I should practice patience on all fronts! :)

Shelby, Patrick and Kids said...

My mouth fell open at the thought of having to remind parents to not only feed their child breakfast but to put on clean clothes... those poor kids, I can only imagine what their home life must be like. I find it challenging with two in school only a year apart, I often forget what paper came out of which boys folder. Thanks for the info Annie, it is so helpful to parents who want the best for their kids but aren't sure what is okay and what is too much for the teacher. :) Hope your year is going well!

Christina said...

These are great!! thanks so much for posting them. I love the golden rule point. I'm a dork because I'm saving these in my blackberry to make sure we stay on track :-)