I’ve got multiple teaching degrees and went to school for literal decades. And still…school is really freaking hard for me as a parent. Like, really hard.
Sometimes, I feel like I’m being ambushed with information. The behavior charts, grades, social things, events. My oldest is only in kindergarten, and already it’s so overwhelming.
School is Really Freaking Hard for Parents
I honestly did not anticipate this level of stress when I sent my child to school. After all, school and teaching and learning is what I do for a living. It’s what I’ve studied for years and years.
So why was I suddenly tongue-tied in front of the teacher during conferences?
Seriously, I sat there and did not know what to say to my kid’s sweet preschool teacher. She showed me all sorts of work that my daughter had finished, explained the routine, and went over some (minor) struggles.
And I sat there, like a bump on a log. I had nothing to say or ask.
Except the minute I walked out the door, I had a million different things I wanted to ask or say. By then, another unsuspecting parent was sitting in the classroom and it was too late for me.
I Should Have Known Better
The thing is, I should have known better. I do know better. I literally wrote an entire book about how to talk to the teacher!
Yet, somehow, I missed my own best advice: planning. You see, I forgot to plan out what I was going to say and ask and do.
I made that classic new school mom mistake and thought I could handle this stuff without planning. I forgot that school is really freaking hard, whether you’ve got a teaching degree or are literally just jumping in without backup.
Really, I should have known better because I’ve been on the other side of the table, as the teacher to the mom who’s flustered and overwhelmed. I’ve sat there, calmly, trying to share every atom of info I have about a child in 15 minutes or less to a parent who just doesn’t know where to even start.
After those meetings, I’ve promised myself that I would never be that mom. I would be prepared.
Well…clearly I forgot that promise.
This Year I’ll Do Better
I’ve promised myself (again…I know) that this year will be better. I’ll actually take my own advice and make that plan for conferences.
So, that’s what I’m doing. I’m flipping back through Talk to the Teacher and pulling out the exact scripts that I want to use. Now, my daughter is only 5 and the stakes are low. So my options are pretty easy:
- Is she making friends?
- Does she use her manners in class?
- Is she considerate of others?
- Talk to me about her work and your expectations.
- I’d love to see some artwork or check out her favorite interactive lesson.
It’s pretty simple, really. But it’s simple only if I plan it out!
How Are You Making School Simple?
School really doesn’t have to be so hard for parents. I know it seems like it does because…homework or special education or gifted education or moving every three years (hello, military families).
And yes, those things definitely complicate matters some. But they are not actively preventing you from succeeding at school. Your circumstances are not blocking your child from living up to their potential.
They are merely hurdles to clear and obstacles to navigate around.
You can do it! I promise you that you can simplify school, you can conquer those challenges, and your child’s education can be less stressful for your family.
Ready to learn how? Download my FREE ebook, School Success for Busy Parents! It’s jam-packed with solutions to make every school day easier.
Learn how to pack lunches and snacks your kids will love with meal ideas and planning tools. Conquer homework battles with strategies to destress the situation. Share your concerns with the teacher using emails that have already been written for you. And keep a close, consistent eye on your child’s grades with a tracking sheet.
Plus, you’ll be able to take your printable grade tracker into meetings with you! That way you’ll never be at a loss for words or be unsure about what you want to ask!