Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tips from Teachers… for Parents!

For teachers, parents can sometimes be more frustrating than students. Discover how, as a parent, you can keep both your child and their teacher happy!

In honor of back to school, Good Housekeeping recently released an article geared toward parents entitled, “What Teachers Wish You Knew.”

While the article stresses parent involvement, here’s some highlights from the tips:

Don't Be A Stranger
Parents should talk to their child’s teacher early in the year… there’s no need to wait until “back-to-school night.” By connecting early, you can find out the best way to contact him/her in the future, and shed light on any family information, such as a recent death, that may be affecting schoolwork. Many teachers use e-mail, and some even use childcare management technology, so it’s easy to stay in touch! Volunteering for class events and field trip chaperoning is also a great way to connect.

Learning Doesn't Stop After School
Once your child gets home from school, encourage him/her to show you something they worked on that day, rather than simply asking, “what did you do today,” and getting the age-old “nothing” response. Showing rather than telling will create more of a link between school and home, and give your child the opportunity to show off a bit, building confidence. If it seems to be a light homework night, there’s a lot of afterschool activities you can do with your child to continue the learning process.

Mistakes Are Ok
Don't put too much pressure on your child to get every assignment perfectly right—teachers like students that try hard and grow through learning. It’s ok for kids to get some questions wrong, especially since teachers use this information to see what material needs to be covered again.

For larger assignments, a hands-off approach is best. Teachers do not want to see perfectly created posters that were clearly done by the hand of a parent. Allowing your child to do the work on his/her own creates a sense of ownership and responsibility.

Learn how to best help your child with homework here.

Stay Involved
As your child gets older, it’s expected that they will be taking more advanced classes, but just because you don’t know a subject that way, doesn’t mean you can’t support your child’s efforts. Moral support is still helpful, even if you did flunk physics. Teachers don’t expect parents to be an expert on every subject, just being involved and keeping students motivated is enough.

The Teacher's On Your Side
A lot of parents will get defensive if their child is behaving poorly. But, it’s important to recognize that the teacher is not trying to pick on your child. Parents need to get all the facts before they react and be partners rather than prosecutors. Even great teachers and principals sometimes leave the profession, despite their love of children, because of unruly parents.

Keep Your Child Organized
When it comes time to send permission slips and tests home, it’s important that parents help their children return it by staying organized. Rather than letting a signed document end up crumpled up, have your child empty his/her backpack each night and provide a place, such as a vibrant folder, for transporting signed papers to and from school. Also, make sure your child has all of the supplies needed to do their work at school.

Say Thank You
Going back to not being a stranger, if you feel a teacher is truly doing a good job and influencing your child for the better, take the time to say thanks! A quick phone call or e-mail is all it takes.

Teachers: What are some other tips for parents to best support you and their children in the classroom?

How do you plan on supporting your child throughout the school year?
Let us know by commenting below, or posting on our Facebook or twitter pages.

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