At the bus stop, the moms often discuss teachers or how we deal with the little problems our kids might be having in class or at school. And between you and me, some moms are a little hard on teachers and frankly, a little cuckoo high maintenance. I often feel badly for teachers and the additional burden, rather than support, parents can create for them.
Other moms, like me, are completely reasonable at all times.
But seriously, there is no handbook that teaches parents how to positively interact with our child's teacher and school, if problems should arise or changes need to occur. There's also no handbook that explains how to be helpful and work collaboratively with your child's teacher toward your child's learning successes.
So how great that Katy Farber, teacher and author of Why Great Teachers Quit and How We Might Stop the Exodus, offered to share 12 Things Teachers & Schools Wish Parents Would Do.
Read them so you don't scare other more reasonable moms at the bus stop.
12 Things Teachers & Schools Wish Parents Would Do
- Establish a daily family routine, including healthy eating and sleeping habits.
- Build your child's self-esteem by expressing interest in your child's schoolwork and affirming the child's worth through positive messages.
- Communicate openly with the school and contact the school when you are aware of issues concerning your child's success.
- Approach your child's teachers directly with an issue rather than going to the school office or principal first.
- Express high and realistic standards for your child.
- Check on homework regularly and ask questions about your child's work.
- Read aloud daily to/with your child.
- Connect everyday experiences to what is your child is learning at school.
- Use community learning opportunities. Expose your child to the library, museums, the theater, concerts, etc. Encourage your child to join clubs, scouts, afterschool sports or fine arts, and other community programs.
- Monitor out-of-school activities and set expectations for appropriate behavior.
- Model learning at home by playing games, reading newspapers or magazines, and discussing current events.
- Volunteer to help in your child's classroom, as much as you reasonably can. Parents and teachers have the unique and powerful opportunity to develop a strong, supportive relationship that can motivate and inspire children to do great things. We owe it to our kids and to ourselves to find ways to build positive partnerships and a respectful climate. By doing so, we not only can give our children the best education possible, but we also increase the likelihood that teachers will stay in the field doing what they do best.
Based on information from PTA.org and excerpted from Why Great Teachers Quit and How We Might Stop the Exodus.
Katy Farber is the author of Why Great Teachers Quit and How We Might Stop The Exodus, a fifth and sixth grade teacher at Rumney Memorial School in Middlesex, Vermont, and author of the popular green parenting blog, Non-Toxic Kids.
Do you have any tips to add to Katy's, based on your experience with what works best communicating and working well with teachers and schools?
Image via Seattle Municipal Archives/Flickr