Back-to-school brings jittery angst for everyone, including your kids’ teachers. My teacher friends and I joke that summer’s over on Fourth of July because they spend from then on mentally preparing, lesson planning, shopping for back-to-school deals, and generally anticipating a new group of incoming kids.
As parents, it’s a different story as we hunt down the exact color of 3-prong folders requested on the school shopping list, fill out forms, and help our children get psyched up. In the transition, these are the three takeaways all teachers wish parents knew and believed:
1. Teachers are as unsure as the kids.
A new group of students means building new relationships from scratch. Teachers have the same insecurities year after year as everyone else: What will this group be like? Will they be receptive to what I’m teaching and my personality? Will they think my five-year-old tried and true teaching clogs are outdated? Will they feel comfortable in the classroom environment I worked hard to create through the first hot August weeks? Kids and parents realizing teachers have similar jitters helps everyone feel they are on the same page.
2. Teachers really want your involvement, parents!
Pop culture often portrays teachers as annoyed or inconvenienced by parents’ involvement, but that is totally off base. When a teacher emails out a parent newsletter and receives messages of support back from parents about the great things going on, it’s very fulfilling. When a parent reaches out to communicate something about their students that will help the teacher educate that student better, or get to know them personally, it helps immensely. The secret is simply communicating in a kind way.
3. Teachers really love your kids, before they even know them.
It sounds so tacky and cliche, but teachers really do love your kids from the first weeks of school. It doesn’t matter if your student is struggling, or needs extra help, or is an independent high-flying student. The truth is, they can’t help it, and they love each kid for their unique needs, quirks, and personality. So rest assured that your precious cargo is in good hands this school year.