Here we are on the brink of a new school year, sitting on piles of brand-new supplies, a calendar full of events, and hole-and-stain-free school clothes ready to be worn.
As far as supplies go, we’ve set the tone for a great school year with our kids. But what about setting the tone for a great school year with our kids’ teachers?
As a teacher myself, you’d think I would have some solid advice, but as a mom of two middle schoolers and a high schooler with a lot of “first days” under her belt, somehow I walk into my kids Meet Your Teacher events and those first couple of days of school never knowing quite what to say.
So, I asked my friends on social media if they had any advice on the topic, and boy did they come through. Here’s some wisdom from the think tank:
Tips For A Successful Start To The New School Year:
1. Teach independence
Encourage your child to do as much as they can, like hanging up their own backpack and putting their binder where it belongs. Children doing their part builds the classroom community.
2. Gift coffee
Get the teacher’s Starbucks order on day one. It will be appreciated as first-day fuel, conference fuel, or even just-because fuel throughout the year. It’s thoughtful and so, so helpful.
3. Don’t linger
For little ones, keep your goodbyes short and positive. Give the goodbye hug in the parking lot. Do not save it for the doorway to the classroom, forcing your child to let go of your warm embrace and walk into an unfamiliar room. That’s not going to go well.
Help your child’s teacher build a happy and positive atmosphere right from the get-go.
People volunteer to help in classrooms in all kinds of ways—from organizing crafty parties or laminating name tags to making videos or simply dropping off a box of extra soft tissues — everyone can find a way to lend a hand. Teachers love volunteers, and students love tissues that don’t feel like sandpaper.
5. Be a team player
Think of your child’s teacher as a teammate. If they call you with a concern, be grateful. The teacher could have avoided that difficult call, and your child might not get the tools they need to succeed.
6. Offer grace
Give extra grace in the first few weeks. It takes time for teachers and students to get to know each other and build routines.
7. Put communication first
Communication is key. If you have a question, just ask — but first maybe skim the last email the teacher sent (or text or class dojo or flabber-zinga-doozle), because the answer is probably in there.
8. Express gratitude
It all comes down to gratitude on both sides. Teachers are as grateful for supportive parents as parents are of dedicated teachers.
Parents, students and teachers have been through a lot these last few years, and keeping our relationships healthy—with strong communication, consideration, gratitude and grace—is going to make this a great school year.
Have a wonderful first day!
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Lindsay Chamberlin, a Florida mom and writer for The Community Paper, and was originally published here. Subscribe to our free email newsletter, Living Better—your ultimate guide for actionable insights, evidence backed advice, and captivating personal stories, propelling you forward to living a more fulfilling life.
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