Before I was a mom, I was a teacher. I would have argued that my students were my kids. I loved them, comforted them, and even lost sleep over them. Spending my days with children while juggling motherhood has made me wish parents knew more about teachers.
What teachers want parents to know:
- You are your child’s first teacher: The two biggest things you can teach your child to be prepared for school are character, and self-discipline. There will be times in school, and life, when your child will struggle. As hard as it is to watch this unfold, as parents and teachers, we need to allow these things to happen. During the process, our job is to help them navigate through those hard times. Model honesty, integrity, kindness, and faithfulness. Self-discipline is tough for children when they are growing up accustomed to instant gratification. Teach your children to wait. A reward does not directly connect to a job well-done. Teach them that results take time, effort, and hard work, and they don’t come instantly. Around the Turner house, “You get what you get, and you don’t throw a fit.” I mean, that’s what we’re trying to teach them, anyway.
- Along with teaching the tiny humans to be “good people” teach them some fun things, too! Sing to your children and sing with them. Read to them, listen to them read to you. Read the same book over and over. Children are learning through that repetition. Play with your children. There’s nothing more that children want than your attention. If you are not an active role model in your child’s life, they will find someone else, good or bad.
- We are your child’s biggest educational advocate: We want nothing short of the best for each student, that means holding them accountable for what they are capable of. Don’t make excuses for you child. Parents need to hold their children to the same standard we do. I wouldn’t want less for my own children and you shouldn’t either. There will be opportunities for you to be present in their education, show up! That means if there is a conference, open house, or school program, be there. Your children need to see that both their teachers and parents support their learning and that education is a top priority.
- Have an open mind: When we call to talk to you about something that happened at school regarding your child, take it seriously. I can assure you, we don’t want to use what little “free-time” we have to call and tell you about something unimportant. Whatever the problem is, find a solution. We will be glad to help you! “I just don’t know what to do” is not an acceptable answer. If behavior concerns are not resolved when students are young, the behaviors will continue. These children then grow up to be bigger versions of themselves with a whole lot more independence. So, if you have concerns, let the teacher know! There needs to be a healthy, open line of communication where the child’s best interest is at the top of the list.
- We love your child: We spend more waking hours with your children than we do with our own. We cheer for them when they succeed, and we build them up when they don’t. As a mom myself, when I drop my kids off at school I want to be assured that they are not only safe, but that they are loved. I love your child. So when they accidentally call me mom, I smile and consider it a compliment.
- Be your child’s soft place to fall: Kids are going to fail and when they do, you need to be the person they run to for support. Don’t be a source of fear for them when they make a mistake. As parents, we want our children to do well, succeed in school, and all that good stuff, but the truth is, they will disappoint. Repeat after me, “It is okay if my child isn’t perfect.”
At the end of each long, exhausting day, I love my job!
Is there something you, as a parent, want us to know? I’d love to hear it!