The beginning of the school year is as exciting as it is stressful. As someone who’s been on the teaching side of this for over a decade, I can assure you there are things that happen that can make this event one to dread. This is where you come in, and your child’s new teacher will love you for it! Here are three things “Parent Pros” do to start the school year:
They have a consistent dismissal plan.
I cannot express how much a consistent plan for dismissal means to your teacher. It is PRICELESS! Please be very specific and consistent when communicating how your child is getting home. I keep mentioning keeping dismissal consistent, and I want to stress this is paramount to keeping the children safe.
Teachers appreciate when parents come in during our open house and know how their children are going home. Having a plan and a back-up plan are crucial. We kindly request that you have your child’s dismissal plan readily available before the school year begins, so we can make our class dismissal plans and ensure their accuracy. Nothing is worse than putting a child somewhere the first day of school and having an angry parent who made changes and we weren’t able to see the changes had been made or there were so many changes, we were confused. We are human after all and value preparedness to prevent such incidents.
While you are focused on your child, remember that your child’s teacher is trying his best to keep all 25 children safe and send them home correctly. This becomes incredibly difficult and stressful when a parent either has different types of dismissal every day or waits until just before dismissal to decide how their child is getting home. Side note: Waiting until the end of the day to decide how your child goes home is extremely risky and dangerous. Teachers are not always available to receive messages at the end of the day.
Now, this not to say that changes cannot not happen, but children crave routines, and especially with the young ones, knowing where they go each day gives them a sense of security that makes it easier for them to navigate their school day. It also makes you a thoughtful parent that teachers appreciate greatly.
They buy the school supplies.
This is a big topic to tackle, and honestly, the topic of school supplies could be its own post. That said, I want to share here how to make the task of purchasing supplies easy for you.
Buy the supplies your teachers ask you to purchase.
“But why do I need to buy the Ticonderoga pencils? They’re so expensive!”
“Paper folders are just as good as poly folders.”
“Really? You need that many boxes of crayons?!”
Teachers are about quality. Additionally, many of us have enough experience to be able to tell about how long certain materials can last in the classroom. We’re really looking out for you. We promise! Colors matter because we’re going to use the items for a specific purpose. Quantities matter because that saves you from spending three times as much on an item in January to replenish the stock.
I can tell you right now, I haven’t asked anyone to send in extra pencils or folders in the middle of the year for many years because my team and I ask for exactly what we need in the quantity that will get us through year. Keep in mind this is about the basic supplies. Certain brands will take you a long way. There are crayons and then there’s Crayola.
If you’re a parent that’s struggling to make ends meet, and you can’t afford to get every brand on the list, don’t! Get the things that matter most on your child’s list. Some things are community items that help the class survive and operate smoothly. Additionally, if you are a parent that can afford more, please be generous. I’ve had parents drop off extra supplies for children who were in need, and every time it brings me to grateful tears.
**Also, I’ve gotten a question about when to bring in school supplies. If your child’s school has an open house/registration day, that is the perfect time to bring in supplies. Supplies brought in on the first day of school can be a setback because everyone is focused on making it through the school day. If you bring supplies before school begins, there’s time to get them organized and ready for the first day.
They meet the teacher & continue to communicate regularly.
Look, I know there are so many parents out there who work extra hard to provide for their families. I admire that, and as a teacher, I want you to know that we are a team! Your children’s teachers are helping you raise them. They are not just providing academics, but they are instilling values into them that will carry them further in life. Make an effort to meet the person pouring into your child for 180 school days or more.
Establishing that relationship ensures that your child’s teacher can better understand your situation and work with you to ensure your child’s success. When your child’s teacher knows you care, and your child knows you communicate with her teacher regularly, it truly cuts down on misunderstandings and increases achievement.
Are you a Parent Pro? What are your tips to start a great school year? Share below!