This time of year, I provide a lot of teacher trainings at area preschools and grade schools. I have been listening the last two weeks and wanted to share some tips from these teachers for parents as we all start the school year.
- Know the school’s policies – This means, read the handbook. If you have follow-up questions, please ask. This can often save time and frustration for all. The more everyone knows the plan and is on board the better.
- Offer to help when you can – If you have some free time, even after school hours, your offer to help is always appreciated and often accepted. There are so many ways teachers can put you to work from cutting art supplies at home, to organizing a craft cabinet, to reading at story time or helping in the lunchroom.
- Be on time – Teachers often have set activities during the drop-off window. It tends to ease separations if children arrive to the same activity each day. Children who arrive late may also miss valuable information and have a harder time completing morning work.
- Let teachers know if there are changes at home or other concerns – It can be very helpful for teachers to be aware of changes and stressors like a move, lost job or significant illness in the family. This can help explain changes in behavior or participation. It is also helpful if teachers are made aware of issues such as frequent aggression or learning difficulties.
- Plan playdates with all the kids in the class at least once (ok, this one is mine) – The idea is to have a bit of time to connect with each classmate at some point during the year. This can go a long way towards helping your child socially by making everyone a familiar face and someone they can sit with or ask to play.