Tuesday Tip: Teach the teacher

August 27th, 2013 | Posted by Kerry Lyons in Tips and Quips


Even the teacher has a lot to learn when the school year begins

Whether your school year has already begun or is just about to, you and your children are embarking on a journey with many new beginnings.  For our family, our identical triplet boys will be starting kindergarten, our six year old daughter will be starting second grade and our eight year old will be entering fourth grade at a new school.  All of them will have new bus monitors, new classrooms, new experiences and new teachers.  One of the things I’ve learned over the years is that teachers experience a lot of new things as well – not the least of which is about twenty new smiling (hopefully!) faces staring back at them as the school year begins.

As it turns out, teachers need and appreciate a little assistance in getting to know your little one.  As the school year kicks off, send an email or schedule a brief conference to share the specifics you think they should know; the better they know your child, the better the school year will be. For everyone!  Here are a few considerations to get you started:

  • Learning style: Does your child thrive in a group setting or need more personal attention?  Is he a confident hand-raiser or a more timid observer? Is he a slow start or a quick study?  Does he need an extra nudge every now and then?  These details can help inform the learning plan for your child for the year ahead so don’t be afraid to share them.
  • Social scene:  Social development is an important part of your child’s school experience.  Your new teacher should know if your child tends to be a social butterfly or a loner.   She should also be aware of children in the class that your child has a history with – good or bad.  If his BFF is in the class, she may want to seat them apart or if there’s someone he just doesn’t get a long with, that’s important too. Social dynamics can wreak classroom havoc or provide a harmonious learning environment.  The information you share now can go a long way toward ensuring it’s the latter.
  • Home life:  In case you were wondering, what happens at home does not stay at home.  It goes right to school and gets drawn in pictures and written about in short stories.  Make sure the teacher knows what’s happening on the home front.  Is there a baby on the way? Was there a recent death in the family? Do you have a sick relative?  Did you recently move? Will you or your husband be traveling on business? Did you get a new babysitter?  All of these things may understandably cause some distress to a grammar schooler; letting the teacher know what’s happening at home will give her the tools she needs to create a supportive setting in the classroom.
With these tips in mind, your year should get off to a great start… and, you may just find that you’re the new teacher’s pet!


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