Ways to help your child’s teacher

September 13, 2010 at 6:02 AM Leave a comment

by: Jennifer Perez

Being a teacher is one of the most heart-warming and fulfilling careers out there.  There are so many aspects of being a teacher that I just absolutely love:

  1. Creating exciting lesson plans
  2. Working with eager learners
  3. Attending Professional Development
  4. Meeting new families
  5. Meeting needs of my students and their families
  6. The list can go ON AND ON!

During my teaching career, I have had the privilege of meeting all types of people: my students, their families, tutors, guidance counselors, therapists, social workers and more.   What do all of these groups have on common?  They all agree that parental support and involvement have an impact on student learning!  You may be wondering, “do your students really believe that or are you just saying that?” Here is your answer…YES!  They do believe that their learning is impacted positively when their parents are involved in their school and education.  (I conduct a brief one-one-one interview with my students the 1st week of school where I ask all types of questions about their learning and learning goals.)

Knowing this, I really try to get my student’s parents involved in as much as possible.  I do keep in my mind that everyone’s home life is different.  Some families have two working parents, other families have only one parent and that parent works, other students live with relatives other than parents and some students are even foster children.  The following is a list I’ve compiled over the years of ways that parents/guardians can get involved with their child’s education.

Ways to get involved at home

  • Check student homework daily

– If assigned correctly, homework should be a review of lessons learned that day or some time during the week.  By reviewing your child’s homework, you are ensuring that your child is applying lessons previously learned.  If your child is not performing well on said assignments then speak with their teacher immediately. This way, the teacher may continue working with your child in that specific area.

  • If school planners are used, check to see that the child is writing his/her homework.

-This will help with building your child’s responsibility.  Around 3rd grade, it may be a good idea to have the ‘responsibility’ chat with your child.

  • Encourage your child to read daily.

I cannot stress the importance of reading each and every day!  Your children can read anything-just as long as they are reading!  To change it up a little bit try: magazines for kids, comics, online stories and poems.

  • Each evening, make sure all school supplies are in your child’s book bag ready to go for the next day.

One of my classroom rules for my students is “Be prepared to learn each and every day.”  This means, bring everything to school that you need in order to be successful.  If your child forgets their homework-that is not being prepared.  If they accidentally left their silent reading book or pencils in the car, they are NOT prepared.  Take a few minutes each evening to make sure that your child has everything they need for school the next day.  Trust me, kids sometimes forget the most obvious things!

Ways to get involved at school

  • Volunteer in your child’s classroom.

Volunteering in your child’s classroom does not need to be an all day affair.  Ask the teacher if there is something you can do to help in the classroom that will take no more than a few hours.  I guarantee the teacher will gladly find an area where your help can be used!  Trust me, any help is helpful!!

  • Join the school’s PTA and be an ‘active’ member.

By joining the school’s PTA, you will be signing up to speak on behalf of ALL children-not just your child.  You will be able to help make decisions at your child’s school that can have a positive impact on ALL children.  I suggest taking a look at the PTA National site at www.PTA.ORG.

  • If you cannot volunteer in person, ask your child’s teacher if there is anything you can do or donate to the class.

-Teachers understand that parents have to work so they not expecting you to come in and volunteer in the classroom.  If you can, then wonderful!  If not, that’s all right too!  There are many other ways to help out without physically coming to school.  You can:

  1. Replenish classroom supplies once per quarter.
  2. Send some disinfectant wipes or hand sanitizer when you find them on sale. (Teachers LOVE these! TRUST me on this one!)
  3. Provide the classroom with snacks once per month-the kiddos will LOVE the unexpected treats.  These snacks can be used for incentives or just a necessary brain break.
  4. Donate any age-appropriate books to the classroom library.  Books-need I say more?
  5. Donate any type of gently used educational games.  Scrabble, Monopoly and even Chutes and Ladders are all great keep-sakes for any classroom.

As you can see, there are MANY ways in which you can help your child’s teacher, whether directly in the classroom or not.  Becoming a presence in your child’s classroom and/or school will directly impact your child’s educational positively. If your child knows that you are coming to school ‘one’ day this week, but they do not know when, they will be more apt to be on their “A” game so to speak.  They will be less likely to act up in class because they know you are in constant communication with their teacher.  There can be no excuse of, “my teacher didn’t tell me to do such and such,” or “No, my teacher didn’t assign any homework” because you, as the parent/guardian would already know the answers!  Think about how powerful this truly can be…begin helping your child’s teacher NOW and you and your family will reap the benefits!

Happy Learning!

© Jennifer Perez 9/12/10


Entry filed under: Parent Tips. Tags: , , , , .

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