I remember finishing up my student teaching thinking, “I’ve got this! My first year teaching won’t be that bad!” Boy, was I wrong. My first year teaching was the hardest year of my life. I struggled spiritually, emotionally, physically (I got the stomach bug twice! I now bathe in sanitizer.), and mentally. You know what one of the hardest things about my first year was? Parents. But do you know what played a huge part in helping me through my first year? Parents. I’m not sure if you realize, but you have SO much power in how your child’s teacher feels about their job. We all know it is a hard job, so I have a few ideas on how to (and how not to) work with your child’s teacher this year:
HOW TO WORK WITH YOUR CHILD’S TEACHER:
Remember that we are human. I like to think we are superhuman since we teach 20-30 children for 8 hours a day each day, but we are not. We will forget to send out a newsletter, reply to an email, send a paper home, etc. Please, offer us grace!
Speak encouraging words. I had a parent my first year who always ended her emails with something encouraging. Sometimes it was a verse or simply a kind statement. I LOVED getting emails from that parent. She could completely turn my day around!
Gifts! Yes, I’m taking advantage of this blog platform to ask for gifts. =) Truly though, remember that this person is giving part of their heart to love YOUR child as if they were their own. Simple, random gifts are so uplifting and encouraging, reminding us that you are thinking of us in this role and are thankful that we are loving your child.
Prayer. This doesn’t need a long explanation. If you need prayer for parenting, we need prayer for teaching.
HOW NOT TO WORK WITH YOUR CHILD’S TEACHER:
Email when frustrated. Think before you email. It may sound silly, but I get emails from frustrated parents who probably don’t reread them before hitting send. I’ve had some parents hurt me with their words because instead of waiting to email me until they’ve had time to process or get the whole story, they email in the heat of the moment.
Blame the teacher before you have asked about a situation. Bad idea. Remember, children are not the best storytellers and tend to occasionally leave important information out of the story (sometimes on purpose). Please ASK a teacher first, “Did you happen to see…” “Would you mind explaining what happened…” before you assume that you have all the information.
We teachers love your children like our own. Your kids are our kids. You as parents play a large role in whether your child’s teacher feels appreciated in their job.
How will you choose to encourage your child’s teacher this week?
Meet the author!
Becca Walker is a 2nd grade teacher in Edmond, Oklahoma. Her passion for kids mainly comes from the fact that she herself is still just a kid at heart. She and her husband, Brennan, love to serve in the church in many ways. Whether it is children’s ministry, youth, worship, or leading a young adult small group, they love it all! Becca’s main loves are her family, her pups Wrigley and Rizzo, her Savior, Old Navy, and of course, the incredible community at Council Road Baptist Church.