Back to school time is an exciting and stressful time for parents, kids and teachers! We reached out to a Heather Brickell, teacher and mom of two, for her insight on how what teachers wish parents knew during the school year. Thank you Heather!
As a teacher, it gives me great joy in knowing what a difference that I can make in the lives of my students. I may only be with my students a few short hours each day, but I am helping to shape and mold their future. While parents may be the primary caregivers and advocates for their children, collaboration between parents and teachers is crucial for a child’s success. To foster a healthy and productive partnership, here are ten things that teachers wish parents knew.
- Communication: Communication between parents and teachers is vital.Teachers value open and regular communication with parents. Stay informed about your child’s progress, assignments, and any concerns raised by the teacher. Try to establish a positive and respectful relationship. This will greatly benefit your child’s educational journey. Email your child’s teacher or call them with any questions or concerns. I can tell you from my personal experience, that your child’s teacher wants to hear from you and to stay informed.
- Reinforcement: Reinforce learning at home: Education is not limited to the classroom. Parents can enhance their child’s learning experience by creating a conducive environment at home. I love to create learning experiences wherever I may be with my children. Encourage reading, engage in discussions, and provide opportunities for exploration and hands-on learning. Not only am I a teacher, but I am also the parent of two school-aged boys. Taking an interest in the things that they are learning at school is not only beneficial to them, but it also lets them know that I am interested and that I care about them.
- Realistic Expectations: Each child has their own unique strengths, weaknesses, and pace of development. Set realistic expectations for your child’s academic performance and personal growth. Don’t play the comparison game! Understand that comparisons can be detrimental to their self-esteem and motivation. Help and encourage your children in their strengths. Don’t discourage their weaknesses but be positive and encouraging. Some children require more work than others.
- Independence: Teaching children to be independent learners is essential. Allow them to take responsibility for their homework, organization, and problem-solving. Encourage critical thinking and decision-making skills, as these are going to benefit them throughout their lives.As a teacher, I can tell you that critical thinking is so important. Don’t do your children’s work for them, let them know that it is their responsibility. Encourage them to be creative and to think outside of the box with the way that they learn. Remember every child is different in the way that they learn. Ask your child’s teacher for creative ways to promote learning and responsibility.
- Support: Supporting your child’s teacher in every aspect is crucial to a great parent/teacher relationship. Happy parents make happy teachers. When you show a teacher that you support them, it creates positivity for the entire school year. Remember, your child’s opinion of their teacher will be affected by yours. Help your child understand and respect the rules and routines set by the teacher. Reinforce the importance of discipline, punctuality, and a positive attitude towards education. When my student’s parents support me and the decisions that I make, it makes my job so much easier. It is important for parents to realize that we as teachers are humans too. We are not perfect and will make mistakes along the way, but we are doing the best that we can.
- Resilience & Perseverance: Learning can be challenging, and setbacks are inevitable. Teach your child the value of resilience and perseverance. Teaching resilience to your children will affect their life. While teaching resilience may not be easy, I think it is necessary. Encourage your students to embrace failure as an opportunity to learn and grow. This mindset will help them overcome obstacles and develop a lifelong love for learning. Many times, mistakes are the catalyst to growth. Without mistakes we cannot grow. As a teacher, I encourage my students to bounce back from difficult circumstances and to press on.
- Mindfulness: Encourage your student’s parents to be mindful of their child’s screen time.In today’s digital age, excessive screen time can hinder a child’s academic progress and overall well-being. Statistics show that mindfulness skills help with math scores, reading, organizational skills, math scores, and gives kids the tools that they need to handle stress. Establish healthy boundaries and monitor your child’s screen time. Encourage activities that promote physical activity, creativity, and social interaction. In limiting screen time, you make it necessary for your child to problem solve and to find something creative to do.
- Appreciation: Teachers put in countless hours of hard work and dedication. Many times, a teacher works more than a regular 9-5 job. Show appreciation for their efforts. A simple thank you note, or a kind gesture can go a long way in fostering a positive and supportive relationship between parents and teachers. Some of my favorite gifts from students are notes or gestures letting me know how much that I am appreciated.
- Encourage a love for Reading: Teachers want parents to know that reading is the foundation of academic success. Instill a love for reading in your child from a young age. This not only gives them a head start on expanding their vocabulary, but it also builds self-confidence, independence, and enhances imagination and critical thinking abilities. Read together, visit libraries, and expose your children to a wide range of literature.
- Advocate for your Children: As a parent, you are your child’s greatest advocate. Stay involved in their education and actively participate in parent-teacher conferences, school events, and meetings. Collaborate with the teacher to address any concerns and ensure your child’s individual needs are met. Volunteer for events and school functions. This will allow you to see first-hand what is going on.
Teachers and parents share a common goal of helping children succeed academically, socially, and emotionally. By understanding these ten things that teachers wish parents knew, we can strengthen the partnership between home and school. Together, we can provide the best possible education and support for our children, helping them become confident, well-rounded individuals ready to face the challenges of the future and to whatever lies ahead!
Kids spend more time at school awake during the school year than they do at home, it’s important for us as parents to support teachers how and when we can.
We actually had the pleasure of having Heather on our podcast! Watch/listen for more real talk from this amazing mom and teacher.