It’s without a doubt one of the most important jobs in the world, so let’s make sure they know we parents appreciate them.
Every single one of us, no matter where we grew up, can likely look back to a ‘eureka’ moment that took place in our little minds because of a teacher. These dedicated professionals don’t do it for the glitz and glamour, no. They teach because they feel a deep connection to their students and to the gift of learning.
Their jobs are so demanding, with long hours, low pay, and tons of paperwork. The best of them are always looking for ways to improve their classroom experience, to light a fire of inquiry for their pupils and enable them to grow.
As parents, there are many things we can do to aid that hardworking person who spends hours a day instructing our kids. Here are some ideas for showing your child’s teacher just how much you value his or her efforts and how you can assist in those efforts.
- Volunteer. This is the single best way to help out the teacher in your child’s life. If your children’s elementary school doesn’t have a process by which you can volunteer formally, you may have to get permission from the principal, but even coming in a half hour a week to read to the class is a great enhancement for all the kids and gives the teacher a chance to regroup for her next activity. Bring your own skills to bear; if you build things, cook, play music, or speak Spanish. There is always something we can offer that any teacher will appreciate.
- Take home a project. We often don’t realize how much work they do when they aren’t in the classroom. Prepping for crafts, and organizing books, materials, and handouts – these things take time. You can easily scoop up a simple task and bring it home; this might seem trivial, but any teacher would deeply appreciate it.
- Stay in communication. She might run out of glue sticks, or he might need a whole roll of aluminum foil. Check in and ask if it’s within your purview to run a quick errand or grab something at home.
- Take up a collection for a gift. This is another easy one you can do online. Hopefully your have a classroom directory or a class online calendar where parents can communicate. You can put together a little campaign and get everyone to chip in for a treat like a massage or a gift certificate.
- Join the PTA or PTO. One great way to support, not just your child’s teacher but all teachers, is to join the Parent Teacher Organization. This is a national group that acts as a more formal conduit between parents and teachers, and it is often parents within this organization who wrangle the resources for things like field trips, special guests, and other enhancements to curriculum.
If every parent does what we can, our students will get the most out of their time with their teacher. Staying in conversation, and keeping our children engaged and on task at home are also things that help support the important work they do. For more ways to assist in and out of the classroom, visit http://www.ideas.ted.com.