Each school year begins with a clean slate – another opportunity to put the past behind and start out fresh. It is an exciting time for kids, parents and teachers!
Yes, the school year is not just new for you and your children – it is new for your teacher, too. Having been a school administrator for many years and, currently, a preschool teacher, I can tell you that teachers are under a lot of pressure. Demands are high. Classroom help may be limited – if it exists at all – yet, they are still expected to get the job done with excellence and a smile. Partner with your child’s teacher to make this an awesome school year. They will appreciate the help!
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Here are five simple ways to help your child’s teacher
1. Start each day off right – be on time! If your family is constantly cutting it close to the wire and just running through the door when the bell rings (or later) then the day is already starting off on the WRONG foot. Children need a few minutes to settle in, get acclimated and be ready to perform at their best when that bell does ring! Teachers maximize their classtime. Start time means really starting – students in their seats and ready to go. Help her out and get there early.
Tip – hungry, tired kids do not learn well. Make it a habit to see that your children get plenty of rest each night and eat a healthy non-sugary breakfast before they leave the house.
2. Read the paperwork! Schools send home communication prior to the first day of school. The classroom teacher may also have his/her own newsletter or FAQ sheet for families. Take the time to read it all and highlight (or take notes on) the important things to remember. If your school sends information electronically, keep on top of it.
3. Keep a calendar! Write down the most important dates for the school year including first day of school, last day of school, open house, teacher conference days, holidays, special activities, sports, concerts, etc.
4. Homework! Believe it or not, there will be homework even in kindergarten. Your children need help getting into the homework routine. Create a time and place where they can do that homework every day. Many children do better if you are in the room. That doesn’t mean that you do the homework for them, but you are available to answer questions and be moral support. Teachers have a purpose in assigning work at home. Support that effort by encouraging your children to do it well and hand it in on time.
Tip – the homework location should also be a cell-free-zone. Electronics go off until homework is done. The earlier you enforce that policy the easier it will be to continue it throughout the year. Set a good example. Turn YOUR phone off, as well. Doing that will be a great help to your child.
5. Volunteer! Not every parent is able to actually come in to aid in the classroom. If you can, your teacher will love it. Don’t feel bad, though, if you cannot spend whole days. Consider offering other kinds of help. Talk to the teacher about his/her needs.
Can you think of ways to help your child’s teacher this year?
Share them in the comments!