Schmoozing, buttering up, brown nosing, call it what you will, but being extra nice to your children's teachers is nothing but a good thing. First of all, they deserve it -- can you imagine putting up with 20-plus kids your own kid's age all day, every day? Me neither.
Also, you just never know when you're going to need their help. Be it with extra attention to a problem your child is having or to maybe get a ruling in your favor when it comes down to a split decision as to if you made the tardy bell or not, it's always good to have the teacher like you and your child as much as possible.
That doesn't have to mean being obnoxious (no one wants to be THAT parent) or sending in elaborate gifts, but there are some little things you can do throughout the year to build a better relationship with your children's teachers.
1. Ask if they need help.
All parents can find a way to contribute. Volunteer in the classroom if you can. Even if you work crazy hours during the day, perhaps there are small projects you could do at home. Just ask!
2. Send in baked good goods.
If you're making a batch of brownies for your family, it can never hurt to send an extra one or two in for the teacher. Sometimes sugar is just what a teacher needs to get through the day.
3. Thank him or her.
When your kid comes home excited about something, send a quick email letting her know how well her lessons are being received. If he has a cute story about something she did or helped him with, tell her the next time you see her.
4. Check in regularly.
Besides regular conferences, it's great to check in regularly with your child's teacher just to see if it's going as smoothly as you think/hope it is. Don't be overbearing, but an email or chat when appropriate can let her know that you really want to help her help your child as best you can.
5. Don't gift anything with an apple on it ever.
When it comes to holiday gifts, if you do choose to give them, avoid apples at all costs. A nice fresh apple is fine, though a little cliche, but otherwise, don't even think about apple mugs, apple pictures, apple pillows, or anything else adorned with the fruit. I have plenty of teacher friends who will attest to way too many bushels of apple-themed gifts over the years.
If you're cleaning out closets or rooms, ask teachers what they might need. You never know how they might find a use for old clothes, games, and other household items you would never consider.
How do you "schmooze" with your child's teachers?
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