Getting Ready for a New School Year

Students, parents, and teachers are all anxiously sporting their smiles for the new school year. And it got me thinking, as with any sport we know that teamwork is what makes a team succeed, right? Being a student, teacher, AND parent I've learned that education is a sport in itself and TEAMWORK can ensure we have a victorious school year. Parents, here are some valuable tips from my experience working as a team in the classroom that you can use as we all go back to school:

Tell the teacher important things early in the year and turn in all important paperwork. Each year, I have the parents write a letter about their child including fun facts and their child's hopes and dreams. It's nice to see them through the eyes of the parents who know them well and to have this resource to look back on throughout the year. Plus, there is never enough time to tell them all you'd like to during the "Meet the Teacher" day when they are just learning names.

Expectations will be set by the teacher and school so your child knows they are accountable for their behavior in and out of the classroom. Talk over these expectations with your child and make them a priority at home, too!

Assume good intentions and create good rapport with their teacher. Set up an appointment to meet with the teacher and your child if an issue arises at school that you're hearing about at home. Not every teacher will be a perfect fit for your child and not every "friend" will end up in their class. It's easy to hear through other parents what the teacher is like early in the year, but get to know and respect them just as they will your child.

Make appointments rather than dropping in. Keep that appointment as you would for any other professional. A teacher's time is valuable and contractually they are paid for about an hour outside of the school day which is mostly spent preparing for the next day's lessons. Email is very useful for quick questions and protocol is typically 24 hours for a teacher to respond.

Work with your child each night and let the teacher know if it's taking more time than is expected to complete their homework. Check their work for completion, neatness, and accuracy and keep a nightly routine. Read to and with them in the early years to foster a love of independent reading in their later years. Bring out some of your elementary favorites to read to/with them! Judy Blume, Roald Dahl, and Shel Silverstein should bring back some memories!

Organize work with your child. Save or recycle work sent home so your child learns good organizational habits that will carry over into the classroom.

Respond kindly in all communication to the teacher. Kids will show the same amount of respect they see you giving to their teacher.

Keep up on what's going on by reading the classroom and school newsletters. Volunteers are invaluable to a school and it's a great way to stay current with what's going on if you can! Offer to help with cutting, party planning, or book orders at home if you can't volunteer regularly!

Ready for a triumphant school year?! GO TEAM!

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