The relationship between educators and parents should be symbiotic. When parents and teachers work together as a team, children thrive, a result beneficial to all!
Parents face many challenges, and so do parents. Few people understand the inner workings of children better than dedicated parents and educators, which is why they can make a great team! But even though many parents want to help and support their child’s teacher, they don’t always know the best ways to help.
When parents know what teachers expect of them, they can better support them in their goals of creating a nurturing classroom environment and a successful school year.
Top 5 Things Educators Expect from Parents
- Support & Respect
The main thing teachers need from parents is support and respect. Parents may not agree or even get along with every teacher their child encounters, but when parents show outward disrespect or lack of support, their children will do the same.
If parents disagree with a teacher’s decision, it is best to approach the teacher privately and respectfully. As with most misunderstandings, communication can solve them or at least smooth things over.
Always be polite and respectful to your child’s teacher, especially in front of them, because this teaches your child to respect them too.
- Donate & Volunteer & Participate
Teachers, especially early childhood educators, are one of the most underpaid professionals. Therefore, few things can help a teacher better than necessary classroom donations, volunteering your time, and participating in class and school events.
Ask if a teacher hasn’t outwardly asked for donations or volunteers! Not only will you make them feel valued, but you’ll be able to contribute something beneficial to your child’s classroom and education.
Teachers often welcome volunteers to help with class projects, field trips, class parties, or to read books to the class.
If nothing else, give them an Amazon gift card or one to a local teacher supply store.
- Read and Respond to Communications
Teachers spend valuable time, usually off-the-clock, writing and composing emails, newsletters, and other forms of communication.
Please take time to read the communications and respond when appropriate. So often, parents say they didn’t know about specific rules, events, assignments, etc. because they glossed over an email or tossed away forms in the child’s bag without reading them.
If you have a busy job or don’t have access to personal email or phone during the day, set aside 5-10 minutes each evening to review any correspondence from your child’s teacher.
- Teach Children Independence
To use a popular metaphor, children need to learn how to swim on their own, or they will eventually sink. If your child has a problem with a peer or teacher, encourage them to solve it themselves. You can help young children by brainstorming solutions together and discussing possible outcomes, but avoid jumping in to solve every problem they have.
Teachers also want children to be able to perform basic self-care routines independently. For example, preschoolers should be able to dress with little to no help, zip a coat, put on their shoes (but not tie them yet), wash their hands and face, and feed themselves.
- Value Education
The last thing teachers expect from parents is for them to value education. Education means different things to different people, but at its core, education is learning, discovering, and experiencing new things.
Valuing education doesn’t mean pressuring your child to get straight As or become a doctor. It simply means understanding the importance of learning new things, respecting those in the field of education, and supporting your child along their educational journey.