5 Ways to Support Your Child’s Teacher
It has been a few years since I have had kids in grade school but I remember it like it was yesterday. It was exhausting.
Getting the kids up and having breakfast ready was hard. Let alone getting out the door on time was always a chore for me. I struggled. It was real. We tried our best to get all the homework signed, field trip papers filled out and everything back in the backpack at night. But there were days; I was heading back to the school to take a paper we forgot.
We have not even talked about the school fundraisers. Can I get a show of hands of who has bought cookie dough and you still had some in the freezer from the last fundraiser? Tickets to sell for the school plays, the baseball chili supper, must I go on?
But you know, with all of the things we have to do to get out the door and the hours of homework in the evenings, I still wanted to be involved in my child’s classroom and with the school. I wanted to support. I knew that the parent has to support your child’s teacher in order for the child to have a sucessful year.
I think we all, in some way, want to make sure that our children see that we value the education. We also have the desire to show our children we need to support and respect the teachers that are investing in our children’s lives. We can teach our children that our attitudes as well as our support in serving, pitching in to help and reaching out to the school’s community invests a big part of their education.
Don’t let slim budgets stop you
I also remember when the kids were in school, I was trying to remain a stay at home mom, so the budget was tight. We didn’t have funds to be volunteering to bring snacks all the time or pay for decorations for every party. I had to put limits on how much I could financially invest.
Set your boundaries and time limits. The school will respect that and understand that. They are going to be excited to have your help. They need people power.
There are so many ways that you can support your child’s teacher and the school that doesn’t cost money and can be done on your own time.
Ways You Can Support Your Child’s Teacher
Review & Respond to Materials Sent Home
You teacher usually will send home a packet of materials each night or at least once a week. This is a way for her to communicate with you what is happening in the classroom. As well as areas that need attention at home. Your child’s teacher takes time to build those packet and wants to communicate with you.
You have several ways to review items from your teacher. Packets, online portals, and email/ newsletters are ways that teachers communicate more often.
Set a reminder on your phone, calendar or put it in your daytimer to check your students online portal. If you have trouble remembering each night to check the folder, use your reminders on your phone for this too.
This helps the teacher out so much. The teacher can send out information and know that you are getting the information that you need.
Follow the School Rules
If you are following the school rules, your child is most likely going to follow the school rules. You know the saying, “Monkey see, Monkey do”? This is your child. They are watching you.
You following the school guidelines helps the school and the administration by not having to deal with students getting text and calls on their phones from their parents or anyone else. It helps to know what the communication policy is. You knowing the school guidelines makes it easier for the teacher and the administration to do their job. Rules and guidelines are put in place to help the school run smoothly.
Help our teachers out by working with them and not against them. Follow the school rules and be a part of the team. Being a rule follower will support your child’s teacher.
Return Permission Slips / Volunteer Opportunities Promptly
Permission slips, volunteer forms and parent-student conference sign up forms are so necessary to the teachers. Teachers need to know how many parents are going on a field trip. When planning an event, it also helps to see if they will have enough volunteers. It is so terrible for the teachers to prepare something when we drag our feet getting the information back into them.
It is also you and your child’s responsibility to keep up with the forms as well as the date of the activity. Create space in your home for school items. Many people call this a command center. In a nutshell, it is a place that your children can put all their school items as well as a place to put forms and folders for you to look at.
Creating a Command Center gives your student a place to be organized. It also makes your mornings run so much more smoothly because you are not looking for the backpack, lunch box, and the cookie order that had to be turned in that day.
I am a paper person, so I love planners. Whether you are a paper planner or digital person, be sure to write the dates down for all the activities. The feeling that you get in the pit of your stomach when you realize you forgot about the field trip and you were one of the volunteers that the teacher was counting on, that feeling is awful. So keep up with those dates. Support your child’s teacher by keeping up with what is happening.
Talk to the Teacher First
In the Bible, it talks about when we have issues with someone; we need to go to that person first and address the issue. We need to do that with our child’s teacher. If you have a problem with something that is happening in the classroom or something your child is saying, go to the teacher first. This is a way to support your child’s teacher and show the teacher you care for them and not wanting to tear them down.
Respect the teacher. You need to talk to the teacher first to see what is happening. There might be an issue in your child’s eyes, but when you talk to the teacher, they will be able to explain the reasoning behind the action. Open communication with the teacher makes the year so much better. It also gives the teacher the ability to talk with you about issues that they might have.
Don’t run to another mother in the class and talk about the teacher or go straight to the administration. Talk with the teacher first. This also teaches your child a lesson that you and the teacher are a team and desire the best for the student.
Find a need and help fill the need
I am not going back on what I said earlier in this post. You still have a budget and time restraints. Don’t compromise those boundaries. This is a great way to support your child’s teacher.
Find needs in the classroom or the school administration that you can help with. Here are a few ideas that you could do for your child’s teacher.
- Help the teacher by making phone calls to other parents. This can be for sign-ups for events or reminders about a field trip. Teachers would love to have help with communication.
- Offer to keep the bulletin boards decorated and up to date. Take the responsibility to keep the bulletin boards up to date with the seasons and relevant to what they are studying.
- Volunteer once a week in the lunchroom. Give the teacher a break once a week. Help her get the students to and from the lunchroom and stay with the students while they are eating lunch. This is a win-win for you. You get to help the teacher and get to hang out with your student for the meal each week.
- Volunteer in the mornings in the classroom. Don’t just drop your child off. Go to the school and help get kids settled. Ask the teacher if it would help her if you came in a day or two a week and helped get the kids settled and ready for the day. This would be a 15-30 minute commitment but it would help the teacher’s day get started on a right foot.
Just a Reminder
Remember these are just suggestions. These suggestions might work for one teacher and not for another one. Ask your teacher what they need. Ask them what will help them do their job better. If the teacher is getting to focus on teaching, the classroom will be running smooth, and your child will have a better experience in the school that year.
Take that step and help your school out. It doesn’t need to be stressful. It doesn’t need to be over the top. A simple act of volunteering will speak volumes to the teacher.