Friday, June 19, 2015

6 Things Teachers Want Parents to Know

Earlier in the week I posted things teachers should know about parents.  Today I'm flipping it around. There are a few things parents need to know about Teachers.

1. Routines Count

As a parent, I know life is crazy...BUT routines count.  Children thrive in an environment that has boundaries and routines.  When children know what to expect, they can easily succeed.  Starting the day with breakfast can make a difference all morning.  Putting "fuel in their tanks" can keep them focused and ready to learn.  Choosing a designated area and time for homework can make that time of the day a little stressful.  Keeping supplies handy in that area can also reduce the stress.  I think one of the most important routines of the day is bedtime.  Getting enough rest can make a huge difference in your child's education.  They will be more awake and eager to learn.

2.  Reading Counts

I'm not just saying this because I love reading.  There are many studies showing the effects of reading.  On the chart below, there shows a dramatic difference in reading for 20 minutes a night.  Think about when you can squeeze in 20 minutes.  What about in the car?  As an adult, I love books on tape (or CD) and there are options at the public library.  What about bath time? I originally saw this information on Pinterest, but the link led me to Perry and Lecompton Unified School District.  I made the following graphic for our parents during Literacy Night.  BUT...don't kill the love of reading.  Choose books the students are interesting and exciting.
What would you tell a parent, if you could tell them anything? Here is a post with 6 things every teacher wants to tell parents. Imagine the lines of communication being open and everyone understanding each other. 2d

3.  Losing Counts

Nobody wants their child to be called a loser, but losing has value.  Children need to learn to be as gracious in winning as they are in losing.  Children are in the classroom with 20-25 other children.  Everyone can't be the best.  Everyone can't be the winner.  Everyone can't get called on for every answer.  Everyone can't be the line leader every day.  Understanding losing is part of life can create valuable learning opportunities throughout the year and throughout their life.  Parents can start this early by allowing a game to be honest and the winner to be fair.  Does this mean we need to make them lose ALL the time?  Of course not.  But if they never experience loss, they can't really experience winning.

4.  Tests Count.

It's the saddest of the realities.  Tests do count.  We can't change this.  We can't pretend they don't exist. We have to move forward with them.  Are they more important than your child?  NO!  As much as we don't like the tests, the tests do indicate learning.  We want all children to learn.  We want them to be successful...and tests count.  As a teacher, I wish tests could be a snapshot of the student, not the whole portrait.  Tests are reflective of that child on that test on that day.  Teachers know that.  

5.  You Count.

You are an integral part of your child's learning.  Your mood, attitude, and love of learning can be determining factor in your child's success.  Being a partner with the teacher can only enhance this process.  Volunteering in the classroom is fantastic.  You get the opportunity to see your child learn, interact with others, and to be part of a team.  If you can't volunteer, offer to help in other ways.  If your child sees you helping to prepare for a lesson or project at home, they know you are part of their day.  Once, when a parent helped cut out shapes for an Art Center, the student announced each day, "My mom cut those pieces."  You count.

6.  YOUR CHILD COUNTS.

I am blessed to be a teacher.  I love helping children and making their world better.  Your child counts.  

Not as a placeholder.  
Not as a test score.  
Not as member of a reading group.  

Your child counts as a living, breathing gift.  Thank you.

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