20 Things School Teachers Want Parents to Know (but they might not tell you). It’s that time of year again, back to school! No matter how much you prepare or how many times you have done this before, there is still a lot to remember! So, what do teachers really want you to know? We polled a lot of teachers in our area, to come up with a list of things teachers want parents to know, and some of them they might not come right out and tell you. Some might be obvious, others a complete surprise. Either way, it’s worth reading over to make sure you, your kids and the teacher are on the same page for the start of the school year.
- Email is the best way to contact teachers, but don’t get upset if you don’t have an immediate reply. During the day, teachers are busy, so you’ll hear back first thing before or after school or maybe during lunch. (don’t ever text a teacher during the day if you happen to have their number)
- Don’t call and leave a voicemail for the teacher. They will not have time to check it.
- Think about other staff in the school. The art, music and PE teachers would love for you to send an extra box of kleenex.
- Just because your child excelled in one area the prior year doesn’t mean they will this year. Trust their ability and experience!
- Let the teacher know if the kids world is falling apart outside of school. They don’t need to know the details but it helps them accommodate that students needs or be aware they may be extra sensitive.
- It’s not only the teacher’s responsibility for what the child learns during the year. The teacher, parent and child are a team and should work together.
- Send your kids to school with sharpened pencils, especially if it’s for younger kids. It really saves a lot of time and energy to have that done.
- Instead of a Christmas gift for the school teacher, help restock school supplies in the room. This is the time of year when the supplies get low and teachers usually have to spend their own money replenishing the stock. (glue sticks, pencils, etc)
- Make sure the backpack you buy your kid fits the binder they use and all of the supplies they need. (this is a common problem for kids!)
- Teachers want you to know, they are human too! They make mistakes, typos, etc.
- While it is tempting to help with homework, keep it to a minimum. Teachers often use homework as a diagnostic tool for the classroom. If you help too much, it gives the teacher a false sense of mastery.
- We are in this for your child and their needs; not yours. (sounds harsh but it is the truth)
- Stay current with the happenings of the school. If the school has FB, Twitter, Instagram or emails communication FOLLOW.
- We know your child is your “baby” but at school they are expected to exhibit age appropriate behaviors. They get mixed signals when they are independent at school but a baby at home.
- When you know something works to motivate, focus, or help your child at home please share that with us.
- When you have concerns about what is happening in the classroom, please let us know sooner rather than later. We work very hard to track grades and know everything that is happening, but we can sometimes miss something in a classroom of 30 kids.
- Don’t make the teacher a crayon wreath. Send a box of hand sanitizer instead. (or make a crayon wreath but send something useful too!) That being said, a lot of teachers told us it doesn’t take much to make them feel appreciated. A sharpie marker with a cute note, her favorite bottled drink or something simple to say “thanks” is all they need.
- Relax. Let your child express and explore age-appropriate independence.
- We aren’t afraid of questions if you aren’t afraid of answers.
- It’s OK if your child is not the best. It’s OK if your child stumbles.
Editor’s note: last edit, September, 2021