The greatest sign of respect that parents and teachers can give to each other is to listen carefully and seriously to the concerns, information, and insights that each have to share. Children benefit when the adults in their lives cooperate and collaborate with each other.
Here are some pieces of advice that our FB community gave to parents several months back. And then following are the pieces of advice that the community gave to teachers. We may not agree with everything, but everyone who took the time to contribute deserves a respectful hearing.
Advice to Parents:
Be an advocate for your child. Make sure you’re on their side first.
Volunteer, not only for your child but for the whole class. Go on field trips, help with parties, read to the class, help with recess, help with crafts, help cut things out and get things copied. Be a part of the school. Ask how you can help.
Send the teacher a thank you note.
Let the principal and school board know which teachers are really good.
Give positive input — not just complaints. Be positive when there are problems.
Relax and trust your gut.
Get involved, but don’t overextend yourself or feel guilty.
Don’t be a helicopter parent.
Give extra school supplies to teachers throughout the year — they spend lots of their own money.
Be familiar to school staff and the other parents in the class — this helps children feel calm and secure.
Praise hard work rather than outcomes.
Don’t tell your kids they’re the best at things — it will backfire.
Don’t compare your kid’s educational path to anyone else’s — school is not a competition!
Establish routines for smooth bedtimes and calm mornings.
Check backpacks daily. Have a special place to put them.
Read to your child every day, as many times as you can.
Be patient with yourself and your child as you transition into a new phase and a new environment. Talk to the school counselor if your child has trouble adjusting. Let your child know that you have confidence in his ability to cope.
Get a wall calendar and write everything down.
Check out school policy on cell phones; get your child one if there are any safety issues about getting home.
Ask your children every day if they did something good for someone else — the only way to raise a child with good character is to teach it and spend time on it.
Have good communication with the teacher — keep the lines of communication open. Let the teacher know the best way to communicate with you, and who to contact first.
Trust in the Lord and do the best you can do.
Even if you can’t volunteer in school, you can support the school/classroom/teacher behind the scenes. Ask what they need!
Look at the needs of the whole school when you have things to donate — not just your child’s class.
Listen to teachers’ advice, but trust your own instincts because you know your child best. They are the experts in teaching, but you’re the expert when it comes to your child.
Kiss your child goodbye at home and don’t undermine his ability to be independent by following the bus and following him into the classroom.
Advice to Teachers:
The whole day works better if the teacher personally greets every child every morning as the children enter the classroom.
Work on good home/school communication with regular emails, weekly updates, a class blog, and a class website with assignments.
Have a positive and compassionate attitude!
Provide a little grace.
Act like you like the child.
Give clarification and reassurance.
Try to understand what the child is going through.
Accent the positive.
Address issues as they arise.
Acknowledge he is trying his best and his errors are disability related, not character flaws.
Parents send their best kids to school!
Allow gum chewing.
Don’t have kids move their stuff from place to place in the classroom.
Send tests home in folders if they need to be signed.
Post an assignment list on the desk.
Update the written rules as they change.
Sign the agenda at the end of the day.
Stop stressing the test!!
Don’t assign big projects to elementary school kids.
Follow the IEP!!
Treat middle school kids like young adults rather than like little kids.
Our very own education specialist Alice Wellborn is now a regular contributor at FlyLady.net and we are thrilled to share her wise words with all of you. Alice is a school psychologist and the author of the amazingly helpful book No More Parents Left Behind. Get the book at: http://www.nomoreparentsleftbehind.com/
You can follow Alice on Facebook:
The No More Parents Left Behind Website: