One of the best things that parents can do during back to school season is to build a great relationship with their child’s teacher.
It can seem pretty daunting. After all, this person does hold your child’s education in their hands from September to June. You might not know the first thing about K-12 education. There is no time to just sit and chat. Work keeps your busy all the time.
The list of reasons to skip this super important step is long. But the main reason to follow through is huge.
Building a great parent-teacher relationship will help your child in school.
Even if you are super busy or don’t understand the ins and outs of K-12 education, it’s ok. There are five easy things that you can do to build an awesome relationship.
There will always be a few kiddos that can’t afford supplies. The teacher is constantly running out of random items, too. When you are out grabbing things for your back to school shopping list, throw a few extra things in the cart. Maybe a couple of notebooks or a few packs of pencils.
2. Stick to the list
While we’re talking about pencils, let’s put something out there. Pencils for teachers means Ticonderoga brand. Nothing else. Nothing pink or wrapped in cartoon characters. In the older grades, mechanical pencils might, might, be acceptable.
In general, stick to the traditional yellow pencils with pink erasers. These beauties sharpen perfectly every single time. Their erasers actually work and don’t tear paper.
For art supplies, pick Crayola. Their crayons, markers, and colored pencils are good quality and last.
I am not currently and have not ever been paid to endorse these products.
3. Fun and games
Getting rid of board games? Found some cheap flash cards? Send those in to the teacher! The board games will be so useful during colder winter months or rainy days. Indoor recess is terrible. Many games
Many games can also double as learning opportunities. Monopoly teaches math and money skills. Scrabble reinforces spelling skills. Checkers and chess build logic and critical thinking.
Flash cards can be used to learn, practice, and teach skills across all subjects.
4. Volunteer or help
Seriously, just showing up is half the battle sometimes. Send an email to the teacher and offer to help. Tell them exactly what you can do and when.
Teachers will take all the help they can get! Whether you can stuff folders at home or come in to make copies, doing these basics will save the teacher hours and hours of time. Or drop off extra supplies periodically. Swing in to organize the class library. Offer to run a math group, set up the contact list, or display work in the hallways. Be the go-to field trip chaperone.
5. Say “Thanks!”
Teaching is often a thankless job. Teachers give and give and give and give every single day. There are many districts where teachers haven’t seen a raise in years. Some districts pay teachers at almost poverty levels. Parents are constantly demanding all sorts of extras.
When you notice a teacher doing a good job, let them know. Say “Thanks” and explain why you appreciate being in their classroom. Point out how your child has been positively impacted.
How do you build a great relationship with your child’s teacher?