What to Keep in Mind the First Week of School So You Don’t Drive the Teacher Crazy
Pretty soon summer vacation will be over, and children from all over the world will put on their newly purchased clothes and sneakers and head back to school.
Here are some things you can do so you and your child don’t drive the teacher crazy.
Follow the drop-off and pick up rules.
For some reason, parents don’t like to follow the safety procedures the school has established for drop-off. They either drop off their kids outside on the curve, or they get out of the car and insist on walking their children to class every day. I shouldn’t have to tell you that all those adults without credentials shouldn’t be walking around a school. It’s just not safe! Remember to put away your cell phone when you are dropping off or picking up your child. I’ve witnessed no less than four bumper hits and near misses of little humans, this year and I wasn’t even out there every day! Rules about security, parking, and drop-off are there for a reason. Follow them and stop complaining about them.
Read the school instructions
Read the school instructions for the first day of school and all subsequent communication from the school. Don’t ignore information from school and then complain that you don’t know what’s going on. I had a parent last year who was angry because she was never informed about the promotion ceremony for kindergarten. I told her that she was welcome to talk to the teacher but not to forget to check her child’s backpack and her phone as our school sends information via actual newsletters, email, phone messages, texts, Facebook and Twitter. Schools are especially careful to send instructions for the first week of school, so read them.
Get the correct school supplies
Send your child to school with the supplies that are on the list and don’t put your children’s name on the supplies unless otherwise asked to. Sending children with trapper keepers and things teachers didn’t request is puzzling and a huge waste of money. Buy the brand of crayons the teacher asked for and resist buying the cheapest ones at the dollar store. These things need to last all year, and some brands are so cheap that they won’t make it to the end of the week. They are great for restaurants to pass out with the children’s menu but terrible for 180 days of use. If teachers asked you to send your child with a water bottle or an extra set of clothes to leave in the classroom in case of an emergency, do it.
Be kind, not sarcastic
Make every effort not to be sarcastic with the school staff or with your student’s teacher when you feel overwhelmed. The first day of school is stressful for the administration, and it can be easy to answer with sarcasm or anger when you find out that your student didn’t get the teacher you requested, the teacher has a rule you don’t agree with, or your child and his best friend got separated and no longer have the same teacher. Contrary to popular belief, teachers don’t have the entire summer off. They are usually working on lesson plans for the next school year or taking the required courses they need to keep up their certification – at their own expense. So, don’t greet them on the first of school with the usual “at least you had the summer off” snarky comment. Thank them for their hard work and never use sarcasm with a teacher.
Attend parent orientations
Make every effort to go to the parent orientation meeting at the beginning of the year. Your student’s education is a partnership. The school can’t accomplish much if parents are not full participants of their student’s education. During orientation you get to know their teachers, see the classroom your student will spend six hours of their day, ask questions, meet other parents, learn class procedures and expectations and get an idea of the class schedule for your student, etc. Teachers spend a great deal of time preparing for that initial meeting. Don’t blow them off. Being on the same page will only enhance your student’s education experience.
Teachers have 20 to 30 students to deal with, don’t add to their already stressful first week of school. Follow those five simple suggestions and become a teacher’s favorite; one of those parents that teachers adore.
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Eva Fleming is an expert educator and curriculum developer. She has over 25 years of teaching experience and has taught all age groups including, preschool, elementary, middle and high school children and adults. When she’s not teaching, she’s cooking something delicious or driving her children around.