Back-to-School Insights from A Former Teacher

Hi y’all! With the new school year approaching I thought I would share a few insights from my former elementary school days and offer a different perspective to help make the coming year that much more enjoyable.

THE TEACHER IS JUST AS NERVOUS AS THEIR STUDENTS

Although your child’s teacher may seem calm, cool, and collected during Back-to-School Night I promise you, we really are freaking out on the inside. We are meeting our future kiddos for the first time after staring at their name on our classroom list since early July. We are trying to put faces to names fast all while simultaneously making sure that everyone is feeling comfortable in their new “home away from home”.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE READ THE DISCLOSURE DOCUMENTS

My principal made sure we put everything about our classroom policies, expectations, management, etc. on our disclosure documents. It took me days to type up what I did day-in-and-day-out (for an entire year!) in a short, sweet, to the point way. I wanted to cringe when I had a parent just flip to the back page and sign it. It really is for your benefit to read it, especially if you have concerns so that you can address them with the teacher right then and there. The sooner you can be on the same page with them the better!

Example of My Disclosure Document

FORMER STUDENTS WILL VISIT

If a teacher doesn’t have any former students coming in to see them that is a very bad sign. Rapport is something that is highly stressed and studies show that the more rapport teachers have with their students the more likely their students are to succeed both in and out of the classroom.

Please don’t be the parent that gets annoyed that a former student came to say hi and give us a quick run down on their summer. I promise you, we will put just as much time and attention into getting to know your child as we did with our former students.

OVERSHARING IS NOT CARING

If you have an Open House Back-to-School Night, it feels like everyone comes to meet the teacher at once. This is not the time for you to talk to your child’s teacher for thirty minutes and tell them every little thing about your child. I promise you it just makes for an uncomfortable situation.

As a teacher, you already feel bombarded enough trying to meet twenty-six (sometimes more…) kids and their families. If you are telling us every little trait about your child, other parents will become frustrated at us for not greeting their child. Please don’t put us in that situation. There is a reason why most teachers send home a questionnaire form for you to fill out about your child. That way they can read it when they have a quiet moment and really comprehend what you are telling us about your child. If your child needs extra time to talk with their new teacher on Back-to-School Night come back right before the night ends, that way you have a little more time.

My Parent Questionnaire

HELP A TEACHER OUT

If I told you how much of my own personal money I spent on supplies for my students in the years I taught, you would be shocked. It takes a lot of money to have a functional working classroom. Although we stock up when we can, especially during sales, there are times when our personal budget just doesn’t allow us to purchase those extra items that we need. If your child’s teacher does have a classroom wishlist, please purchase as many items as your own personal budget allows. I promise it means so much when there are contributors to the classroom supplies.

TALK TO US FIRST

There will be some miscommunication… We try for everything in our power for there to not be, however we are human. If you have any concerns or questions about how something PLEASE reach out to your child’s teacher FIRST. More often than not, we are able to make sure there is resolution.

Involving principals can makes for messy situations. There are situations where principals are needed but if the situation is just a molehill please don’t make it a mountain.

ALL I DO IS WORK

Teachers work ALL THE TIME. At Back-to-School Night we usually freshen up and change in the restrooms because we still have so much to do that we have to get ready as quickly as possible. On top of that, we have already been at the school since earlier that morning so it makes for a really long day.

Teachers have been working over the summer. Please don’t tell us that we didn’t…. Just because we weren’t in our actual classrooms doesn’t mean that we weren’t going to Professional Development trainings, working on curriculum pacing, amping up lesson material resources, classroom procedures, the list goes on and on. Plus, once the building has been cleaned you have to set-up your classroom, again, which takes weeks.

Just know that we have a family and unfortunately they are often put on the back burner during this time.

DON’T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU HEAR

There are times that our little ones exaggerate the truth just a bit. Trust me, I’ve heard some really good stories. Do I believe every one I’ve been told? No. If your child’s teacher does something extremely out of character I would lend more on the side of exaggeration.

If your child comes home and says that their teacher walks on the desks and lets them “Whip and Nae Nae” for a brain break, then they are taking a page out of my hand book. Believe it or not, lecturing is not a very fun way to learn and studies have proven that if the teacher does something dramatic during their lesson, I.e. walk on desks, wear bright lipstick, go without shoes, the students’ brains are more attentive to acquire what is being taught during that time.

PLEASE KNOW….

Your child’s teacher is giving it their all. There are many nights where we stay up late thinking of how we can help your child succeed, how to make things easier to learn, what concepts are the most vital for future school involvement, and if we are making a difference in your child’s life.

I personally felt that if my kids knew how much I cared about them, they were excited to come to school each day, and that they knew I loved them then I did my job. I bawled at the end of each school year because those kids were MINE… and no other teacher could love and care for them like I could.

Cheers to the 2019-2020 School Year! Make sure to follow @1776fauxfarmhouse on Instagram to be the first to see what’s new on our part of the farm.

Until then,

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