As a parent volunteer, I’ve written about the parent/teacher relationship and how to make it work well for your child. Today, Mitzi of Written Reality, mom and former school teacher shares her perspective as a teacher. As a lifelong learner, I loved the reminder to pursue learning for myself and of course, visit the library on a regular basis. I also appreciated the reminder that learning in the classroom starts at home with sleep, full bellies, and a peaceful start to the school morning.
As a former school teacher, I loved parent volunteers. They made my job easier, and their willingness was encouraging and appreciated.
Unfortunately, most of my parents worked full-time and couldn’t join us for every special program or field trip. Though they provided classroom supplies and communicated freely, their volunteering hours were limited.
However, the success of my students was never based on how often a parent could volunteer. Rather, it was those parents who provided far more outside of school hours that paved the way toward their children’s success.
5 Surprising Ways Parents Can Help in the Classroom
1. Well Balanced Meals
I learned this lesson the hard way.
In Kindergarten, after a few months of constant vomiting and sleep deprivation, my son was diagnosed with severe allergies and acid reflux.
Most of his problems went away within a few weeks based on simple changes I made at breakfast and better options in his lunchbox.
As a teacher and parent, I’ve learned that hungry kids can’t focus, and sick kids can’t either. Fueling our kids daily with the nutrition they need is by far the greatest gift we can provide.
2. A Bedtime Routine
Teachers can immediately tell who had plenty of rest last night and who stayed up to watch the latest TV special.
A bedtime routine is good for all of us. It helps to establish a sleep pattern that signals our body to get the rest it needs.
At our house, our bedtime routine consists of shutting down electronics at least an hour or two before bedtime, allowing enough time for a bath and brushing teeth, and a scheduled time with a good book.
Keeping a consistent school bedtime can determine tomorrow’s academic success.
3. A Peaceful Morning
Who else experiences morning rush hour? Sometimes we oversleep, can’t find our car keys, or our kids miss the bus.
It’s important for parents to keep their cool before school, regardless of our frustrations, and save those discussion for a more convenient time.
Avoid television, video games, or arguments in the morning. That way, the kids will begin the school day with open minds ready for learning, rather than cluttered ones filled with worries, guilt, and regret.
4. Educational Enthusiasts
What have you learned this week?
When’s the last time you took a class?
As parents, our time is limited and filled with obligations. It’s easy for us to sacrifice our own learning to take care of everything else.
Yet, our enthusiasm for learning is contagious and demonstrates its importance to our kids.
Schedule regular visits to the local library with your family. Check out documentaries where you can learn new things together, and find books on topics you’re interested in learning more about, too.
5. Parent/Teacher Teamwork
Let’s face it. Sometimes our kids aren’t assigned our favorite teacher. Other times, the teacher we thought would be our favorite turns out to be, well, not so great.
Our kids respond to the cues we give them. If we’re encouraging and complimentary toward teachers, they’re more likely to build a better relationship as well.
There are always extreme cases and unusual circumstances, and if your child is being treated unfairly, those situations should be addressed and resolved.
Just make sure to show your support for school authority, choose your words wisely, and handle stressful encounters with teachable moments you’ll want your kids to remember.
Back to School Resources
- A Parent’s Letter to the Teacher
- 5 Tips for a Successful Parent/Teacher Relationship
- 5 Tips for Parents for Parent/Teacher Conferences
- The Benefits of Volunteering at Your Child’s School
- 5 Tools to Organize Your Back to School Routine
- 10 BEST Back to School Movies for Family Fun Night
- 5 Ways to Motivate Kids Every Morning
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