Sunday, August 22, 2010

Just a link I came across today that caused me pause in my day.

As the school year is quickly approaching I have myself wondering what kind of mother I am going to be for Charley's teacher.  Having spent time as the teacher in the classroom I know the wide variety of parents that teachers work with during the entire school year.  DO NOT GET ME WRONG - Teachers appreciate all the help and support that parents and grandparents can give a classroom, but there are also cases where too many emails, phone calls, notes, requests, pop in visits that take 20 minutes of their precious prep time, requests to volunteer for SPECIFIC tasks,...treats etc...can start to hinder their ability to do their job.

  Clover Lane's blog reflected on doing your part but not taking on too much and causing your family or your child's classroom to suffer.  I LOVED her statements about the cupcakes because personally those are the WORST birthday treats a parent can send with their child....well cake is actually the worst because it requires a knife and cutting and fights over who has more frosting.  But the sight of a parent walking towards your classroom with cupcakes has most teachers muttering some choice words under their breath...and I am guessing the custodians are mumbling the same thing. 

Anyways, my mind is working overtime thinking this whole kindergarten experience over and I know that I am going to try and remind myself of all the things I appreciated about the parents I worked with as a teacher.  Here are just a few:

 Communication is good but too much can overwhelm.

Popping in to volunteer - wonderful but give warning, do the task that is asked and follow the directions, and give the teacher a few weeks to get the class comfortable with her and in a groove, before plopping yourself down in there and disrupting things...because children always act differently when their parents are there. 

If your child has an assignment notebook or take home folder that comes home nightly and a project or activity was shared with you by your child and it sounded like it was spectacular or special or made your child's day...write a two sentence note, throw an email, jot a post it.  Teachers love knowing what is working and it inspires them the next day. 

Remember your child's teacher at holidays...a valentine, Christmas card, etc.  No need to spend a lot of money on a gift but just a note that says Merry Christmas.  The magic place that a teacher has in your child's heart is amazing and the love that each teacher has for their students is personal and treasured...even the hard students that test to the limits.  They spend almost 8 hours a day wiping tears, encouraging, instilling confidence, drive, and the love of learning.  Give them thought at those busy times of year.  

Okay, those are just a few thoughts you have any? 


Shell said...

I love these! I just finished writing my post for tomorrow- about meeting your child's teacher for the first time- from the teacher's perspective. I'm trying to remind myself of these things since I have to be on the other side of this and meet my child's teacher tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

I like your blog, and I like your little boys, but I have a question: what would you send to school instead of cupcakes?

Jennifer said...

Great suggestions! It kind of made me laugh a little because I would have such a different list. I taught in an inner city school, where teachers were lucky to ever meet or talk to most of the parents. My list would start with, 1.make an effort to go to at least one parent/teacher conference. 2. try not to curse in a loud voice right outside of your child's classroom.


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