Parents listen up! This one’s important and it’s a call to action.
I’ve done my fair share of school volunteering over the last several years and have seen firsthand what my children’s teachers do all day. In fact, anyone that spends enough time in a school environment should recognize the amount of time and energy that teachers invest into one’s kid.
You have the power to extinguish their resolve or throw gas on their fiery efforts. It’s your choice. Choose wisely.
I look back at my early college days and pat myself on the back for not proceeding with that Early Childhood Education degree. Why? It’s not my gift and I’m afraid I would have failed miserably. I can teach adults and handle large crowds but a classroom of KIDS? Seven plus hours a day? Five days a week? With decreasing funding? With a large percentage of parents either absent or absent yet complaining? Uh uh.
What can I do? Partner with those that are fabulous at it.
Through personal observation, I’ve learned that teaching, especially educating children, is a God-given GIFT and it’s not an easy job. However, I’m in absolute awe of how well they work their craft and how educators command the attention of multiple, sometimes as high as twenty plus, focus challenged, diverse personality filled younglings.
Pending no homeschooling, listen up parents! Your kids spend more time during the work week with their teachers than they do with you. Teachers are our partners in this thing we call parenthood. They are your village and the majority love your child fiercely and want them to succeed.
Now, I get that not all teachers are created equally and, like in any field, there may be a few bad eggs. What’s the big picture people? The majority of teachers are committed to advancing our children and encouraging them along the way. As a parent, I WANT to encourage my child’s teacher because of three reasons:
A) They desperately need it. Those that complain are the loudest. Those that don’t are generally silent and assume that teachers know how they feel. We have all been on the receiving end of lack of appreciation. It’s a devastating feeling. What do we remember folks? If a person receives 9 half-hearted compliments and 1 screaming negative, we remember the bad one.
B) They teach your child in ways you cannot. I’m owning it: I have little patience teaching my kids things they don’t particularly like and don’t catch on to quickly. Hats off to teachers that can. We need them.
C) Showing appreciation is a dying art: In a world where people are increasingly after number one only, make it a point to tell those people who are in your child’s circle of influence how thankful you are. An appreciated teacher makes for a healthier learning environment for your child.
If you feel motivated next week to do something to put a smile on a teacher’s face, then here are some ideas (don’t forget the support staff either…they make that school run).
10) Positive morning surprises: Bring your teacher’s favorite beverage to school one morning (Understandably, some may beg for a margarita machine…Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts or coffee from your favorite Bread company should do the trick!)
9) Turn in and sign all your kid’s forms on time: It REALLY makes their day.
8) Ask what supplies he or she needs and send some with your kiddo (sharpies, expo markers, copy paper, etc.).
7) Send out positive vibes on social media about how great the teacher or school is and tag a bunch of people.
6) VOLUNTEER at the school. Regardless of your work schedule, there are ways it can be done (Count or organize something at home or ask for a day off in advance for a big event).
5) Make it a point to find out their birthday and send something to celebrate (drink and a snack, Plug In Scent, cupcakes, iTunes gift card).
4) E-mail the principle and brag on something that teacher did that either impressed you or something your child came home from school talking about.
3) Be a constant resource. You get a letter saying the teacher needs supplies for a classroom project…make it priority and deliver results on time.
2) Honor their wishes. It’s the teacher’s domain at school, not yours. Some teachers like parents in their rooms and others prefer to keep parents out to maintain order. Kids need to learn to grow up without mom or dad there looking over the teacher’s shoulder and they also need you present at school when requested.
1B) One more thing: Make educated arguments: You will encounter real issues in the education of your child, but in most cases, teachers want to help be part of the solution. Don’t alienate them prematurely. If a parent has little to no involvement at the school and chooses to complain, then that person has no business voicing a hasty opinion. Get your toosh up to that school, make time, get involved and witness what your child and the teacher do all day. I guarantee your perception will most likely be broadened.
1A) Constant praise and affirmation. Hand written notes and verbal compliments to your child’s teacher go a long way. Do it often and be genuine. You never know how bad that day has been for a teacher and the power you have to encourage his or her spirit.
Teachers are a large part of our village as parents and be assured you are in the minority if you choose to be a source of light for them. It makes for a healthier school environment for everyone and a happier soul for yourself. Choose to encourage and not tear down.
I challenge you! Be that difference this week!