Have you ever wondered what goes on while your child is at school? Felt as though you are disconnected from your child’s classroom? Here are seven things that your child’s teacher wishes you knew (so that it may be a great year for everyone!)
1. Your Child Won’t Be Taught the Same Way As Their Classmates.
Legislation in education has made the classroom a completely different experience for your child than you may have had. Gone are the days of the whole-class lesson. Teachers work with each child at their level. That means that your child may have more independent time to work on an assignment while other children, with different needs, are working in a teacher-led group. Teachers design their classroom to help each child to be successful. That rarely means using the same methods to teach 25 children the same content.
2. Parent Volunteers Don’t Just Help the Teacher
Even if you are only able to be in the classroom once or twice during the year, your presence in the classroom is a great support for your child. Kids love to see their parents working with classmates and getting to see what they do during the day. When a child sees their parents at school it gives them the message that school is an important place for your family.
3. The Teacher Doesn’t Pick What He/She Teaches
Frustrated about that social studies unit? Think that math is getting pretty tricky? Chances are that your child’s teacher understands (and may agree) with your feelings. Teachers are given the materials that they use to teach, the content to teach and (in many cases) told when they need to teach each topic. Standards, as well as the school district, set the rigor in the classroom. Your child’s teacher has the ability to change the ways in which the content is being taught. If you’re concerned about what is being taught, of course talk to the teacher. You and he/she can talk about ways to help your child better understand the lessons.
4. Your Child’s Education has to be a Partnership.
Teachers have a large amount of impact on a child’s education, but the role of the parent is just as great (if not more so.) Creating a setting at home that is school-friendly, talking with your child about school and checking on their progress on at-home work will help your child to see that school is a great place to be. Teachers often provide newsletters and/or classroom websites as resources for parents looking for ways to help at home. Taking advantage of school family nights and events will also help to make it a place that students want to be, rather than simply where they go during the day.
5. Teachers’ Goals are to See Their Students Succeed
Do you remember pop quizzes and trick questions on tests that seemed meant to trip you up? Did it seem that your teacher was just waiting for you to make a mistake? Increased emphasis on student success has helped to eliminate those teachers that loved to use their red pens (all over your work.) Today’s teachers work diligently to find ways to help your child succeed with each lesson that is taught. When voicing a concern with your child’s teacher, remember that you and he/she have the same goal in mind…the well-being of your child.
6. Parents Can Help be a Teacher’s Eyes and Ears.
The classroom can be a crazy place! Often students are spread throughout the room, working on tasks and activities. It is not usually a quiet place to be. That being said, teachers cannot be all places at once. If your child shares a negative peer interaction with you, or expresses concern about something that happened at school, be in touch with the teacher. Chances are good that your child’s teacher may be unaware of the issue. If he/she is made aware as soon as something occurs, it can be addressed immediately, rather than becoming a bigger problem.
7. You Know Your Child Best.
Teachers make every effort to get to know their students, what their interests are and how they learn best. At the end of the day, however, you are Mom or Dad. You have seen your child grow and you are the one who has watched them progress as a learner. Talking to your child’s teacher about those things that you feel benefit your child will help him/her to best meet your child’s needs while helping the teacher to become better connected with your family.