Ten Things Your Child’s Teacher Wishes You Knew

Fall will soon be arriving and with it the promise of a brand new school year. It’s time for a fresh start for everyone. But what if you and your child could start the school year knowing all the teacher’s wishes for the upcoming year? It turns out you can! We asked teachers what they wish the parents of their classroom kids knew and here’s what we found out:

Start with the teacher

Aliyah Hitchcock, a teacher in central Houston stresses the importance of coming to the teacher first with any problems or frustrations, rather than going straight to the principal or director. This is important not just because the principal is so busy but also because often there has just been a misunderstanding. Even if it’s not a misunderstanding and may require a change on the teacher’s part, “Give us a chance to fix it.” asks Hitchcock.

Label everything

Most school’s lost and found could open their own clothing shop, not to mention the accessories. I can’t count the times as a teacher that I’ve had children refuse to acknowledge their own possessions. Do the teacher a favor and label as much as possible to reduce confusion.

Be the teacher’s partner

“Be a partner with your child’s teacher and the staff members that work with your child.” says Barbara Bennet of Spring ISD. Your child’s teacher may not be the one you would have chosen. He or she might have a communication style that doesn’t suit you. But whatever the general demeanor, Your child’s teacher wants your child to succeed. You can help by remembering that you’re both on the same team – your child’s.

Instill a love of reading

“Make sure your child loves reading. Motivation is a huge indicator of reading success.” says teacher Kelsey Montgomery. One of the best ways to do this is to read aloud to your child. They’re never too old!

Be an open book

Let your child’s teacher know important information about your child. “How does he/she react to being corrected? You’d be surprised how even a gentle correction can sometimes trigger a child to feel angry/upset/shamed – other kids only respond to feedback to the point of bluntness.” says Helen Bibler, a certified teacher librarian from Illinois. Information such as this may be requested on the beginning of the year forms. If so, be sure and fill them out thoroughly. Michelle Renfrow, a Houston area teacher adds that this includes filling your child’s teacher in on any traumatic experiences your child may have endured, “Family member passing away, family pet passing away, flooding, hurricanes etc…” Make sure and include medications or allergies in this information. An email is a good way to communicate this information if it is not part of a required form.

Make custody information available

This can be particularly important if a divorce has been contentious, but even divorced parents that get along well should make sure the teacher has all necessary information. “My ex and I get along great but by letting the teachers know to include both of us, it makes sure that nothing slips through the cracks. This goes for emails, phone calls, etc,” says Jill Kaplin, a Houston area teacher.

Teach respect

Josh Lukasek, a teacher north of Houston, reminds parents that, “Respect begins at home. If parents don’t respect teachers, administrators, coaches, the kids never will.” This includes refraining from making negative comments about the teacher whenever a child might overhear.

Encourage independence

“Allow your child to be independent. Allow them to make decisions and to make mistakes. Doing everything for your child teaches them they are not able to think on their own.” says Houston area teacher Suzy Schaffer.

Set realistic expectations

Help your child, “understand that you can’t win or make perfect scores every time…. Each child is great in their own way. Be kind!!” says Pat Mintz, a Houston area teacher.

Encourage communication

“To further develop vocabulary language skills and conversation etiquette, initiate interactive discussions with your child. Engage in active listening, pause between their words and yours, and respond in complete, on topic sentences.” says Houston area teacher Heather Thomas.

Following these tips from the teachers will help your child get off to a great start this and every school year.

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