6 Ways to Schmooze Your Kids' Teachers Throughout the Year

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appleSchmoozing, 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.

6. Donate.

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?


Image via Sister72/Flickr

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elasmimi elasmimi

I volunteer in the classroom, but I don't consider it schmoozing. Volunteer hours are required, and I choose to spend them with my child. I just try to be considerate and cooperative.

jhslove jhslove

In general, this is a great list--although for me, a heartfelt "thank you" is worth more than anything else. Parents who stay in touch without being overbearing about it are great, as are those who are receptive when there's a problem and don't assume that their special angel could never do wrong. In general, saying "thank you" and being willing to work WITH the teacher are the best things you can do.

And thanks for talking about checking with the teacher first about whether she can use items, instead of just bringing them in. I used to teach in a school where well-meaning parents would drop bags of stuff outside my classroom door; some of it I couldn't use and didn't have room to store in my classroom. So then I ended up taking them out to the dumpster after school or during my lunch period--not fun.

butte... buttercup627

My momused to send us a gourmet candy apple (caramel, chocolate dipped with little sprinkles) every year. My teachers always got excited and they loved having my brothers or me in their class.

nonmember avatar amy

As a teacher and one who tries to be healthy I would say please do not send in baked goods or chocolate/sweets. We get so much and then I end up giving it away or bringing to parties.

jhslove jhslove

Amy, good point--I also never ended up eating the baked goods that my students sent in. Also, you never know if your child's teacher has an allergy to gluten or eggs. If you want to give something food-related, gift cards to Starbucks are awesome.   :)

daerc... daerca574

My husband made my sons teacher some shelves and a bookcase for her room. That was very much appreciated

Kmakk... Kmakksmom

I don't schmooze, but I do volunteer.

MamaB... MamaBear2cubs

I'm not there. If there is an awesome teacher I would not mind scmoozing lol

momto... momtolittleg

Good list!  And please, send in the baked goods!  Or offer to bring me lunch if you are coming to eat with your kid- I had a parent do that last year- she would call me on her way and offer to pick up something for me (she got my cell number when I had to call her from the playground one day).  I was afraid knowing she had my cell number, but THAT'S the appropriate thing to do when you have a teacher's number!

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