Teacher Tips for Parents: The Inside Scoop
Parents looking for advice on how to help their children succeed in school can find a wealth of information from a variety of resources and experts, but how about asking the people who interact with them on a daily basis - their teachers? We asked our teachers to share tips that they think (and wish) every parent would know so that their children can flourish at school!
- Get kids prepared for school the night before with clothing, school supplies, lunch/snacks, etc. so they aren’t rushed in the morning and stressed when they arrive at school. That includes going over homework and through their folder with them every night. Going through their work with you allows them the chance to tell you about it and feel pride in their accomplishments.
- Be positive. Children pick up on whether or not you are negative or apprehensive. If you set an anxious tone about school, your child will view it the same way.
- Be present with your children: stay off the phone and pay attention to them when you drop them off and pick them up. They are comforted by it.
- Practice with your child handling their personal belongings like carrying their own loaded backpack prior to the start of school. If it’s too heavy for your child, consider getting rid of the stainless steel water bottle and lunchbox for a lighter alternative. Also, practice using school supplies like how to use scissors or glue sticks properly.
- Encourage their independence and let them feel safe enough to make mistakes. This means letting them do their homework by themselves and speak for themselves. When they make a mistake, help them learn how to fix it instead of criticizing them for it.
- Do not compare your child to other children. They will learn at their own pace.
- Be patient. They are little and trying to figure things out for themselves.
- Instead of saying “What did you do today?”, try “I see you’re learning about ______. Tell me more about it.” This will show that you are interested in what they have to say and get them to tell you more.
- Manners matter. Teach them how to use nice words, be kind, wash their hands, cover their mouth when they cough and sneeze, etc.
- Provide resources at home for learning by having books at home and reading with your child every night.
- Homework is not just busy work - it is important to reinforce what they have learned during the day.
- Keep negative comments/feelings regarding problems private with the teacher. It's ok to have those feelings or thoughts but sharing them with the child takes away from the teacher's authority/respect.
- If your child buys lunch, go over the lunch options with them in case they don’t like what is offered. If possible, pack snacks because there are some children who will choose not to eat if they don’t like what is being served. If a child is hungry, it makes it more difficult to learn.
Finally, please remember that teachers are on your team - 100 percent! We want the best for your child as much as you do!
Any questions? Please email us at Janice@Neighborhoodlit.com. Taylor Burke is a teacher and Director of Communications at Neighborhood Lit. and works closely with Janice Migliazza, a Reading Specialist and owner of Neighborhood Lit, Route 34, Colts Neck to bring you this information.