Sunday, August 30, 2009

School Days


Our kids on the first day of school.

Starting school was always such an exciting time of year for me as a young mother. It was fun to help our kids get new outfits and school supplies and prepare for that first day. In Oregon school will be starting in a little over a week and the "back to school" excitement is in the air.

After our youngest daughter entered 5th Grade I began teaching elementary school and taught for 20 years, just recently retiring (pictures are from my classroom). I learned some things as a teacher that I wish I would have know as a young mother, regarding supporting children in school. Even though I tried to be involved and conscientious, I realized I could have done some things better. So, here are a few tips from a teacher's perspective. I'll call it "What teachers wish parents would do."
  • Help your children learn their first and last names.

  • Check and clean out your child's backpack daily.

  • Anytime you send a check to school put your child's name on the check. One time I spent hours trying to figure out what a check was for that mysteriously appeared on my desk without any name that matched my students' names.

  • Kids should know how to do up their shoes (or velcro works) and pants (Imagine a teacher tying shoes for 28 first graders!)

  • Turn in all forms promptly - this saves teachers TONS of time in follow-ups.

  • Read materials that teachers send home, like newsletters, and if you enjoy them, tell the teacher.

  • Come to meetings and conferences.

  • Send kids to school everyday unless they are ill. Appointments should be scheduled after school.

  • Make sure your kids get plenty of sleep and eat a healthy breakfast.

  • Participate in school events, even if you don't agree with them - I'm thinking fund raisers here - It was hard with 5 children and no relatives in the state, but even if you participate just a little, you students won't feel left out.

  • Make sure your children leave toys at home.

  • Avoid strange clothes, backpacks that sing, pants that zip apart, etc.

  • Let your children and their teachers know how they are going home each day and be as consistent as possible. Inconsistentcy and being unsure causes lots of stress for kids and interrupts learning.

  • Have fun sharing this important time with your children!

1 comment:

Lori said...

Thanks Michele. With my eldest 3 going all day now I have been trying to prepare them the best I can and it's great to have your list here to make notes with as I always look to you for guidance as how to best help my children with these things. You are wonderful!