5 Reasons to Appreciate Your Child’s Teacher
Going back to school can be a stressful and unsure time for all involved. Be sure to appreciate all that your child’s teacher is and does for him.
It’s Back-to-School time again, and chances are you are busy preparing your child for a great school year. You are packing that new backpack full of supplies, getting new clothes, and making sure their eyes will be ready to read the board. You’re talking with your child about goals for the year and maybe even secretly counting down the minutes till summer vacation is over.
But before you send Junior out the door in his shiny new Nikes, don’t forget one essential part of your child’s school year—his teacher. Remember to appreciate the vital role this person will play in your child’s life, and be thankful for it.
Here are 5 reasons to appreciate your child’s teacher:
They Worked All Summer for Your Child
As you walk in to your child’s classroom on Back to School Night, take a good look around. Notice the specially-made name tags on the desks. The alphabet chart way up high above the whiteboard. The reading center with the cute little rug and throw pillows surrounding a shelf full of books.
Take a minute to really take it all in. This will be your child’s world for the next 9 months. It is her home away from home. And it will feel like home because of one person, her teacher, who worked for weeks over the summer planning, creating, and building this classroom.
This same teacher will have also spent countless hours planning inviting lessons, engaging activities, and rigorous assessments to make sure your child has the best educational experience possible. They most likely attended a few workshops and conventions over the summer to hone their skills as a teacher. And just this month they attended one or two solid weeks of mandatory orientation, inservice, and policy meetings with the school district.
You might picture your child’s teacher hanging out by the pool with an umbrella drink and their favorite romance novel all summer. While their schedule was more flexible over the summer, the truth is they spent the bulk of their “break” preparing to give your child a great year. Remember to thank them for their work! And the next time you hear someone say, “Must be nice to only work 9 months out of the year,” remember to stick up for teachers!
They Spend Their Personal Time and Money on Your Child
Your child’s teacher will work many hours beyond the school day this year. After sending the students home, they will attend faculty meetings and go to planning sessions with other teachers. They will fill out paperwork and attend parent conferences. They will make phone calls to parents and send emails to their administrators. They’ll tidy up the classroom that your child and her classmates left a mess. They’ll set up activities for the next day. They will make oh so many copies.
Each night they will take a crate-full of papers and projects home to grade. On the weekends, more often than not, they will spend a day doing work for your child. And even on their holiday breaks, a lot of their personal time will be spent thinking about your child and planning things to help them.
Not only personal time is spent, but personal money. It is quite common for teachers to have little to no budget for classroom supplies, decorations and furnishings. All that inviting, eye-catching stuff you see in your child’s classroom—that is often paid for out of the teacher’s own pocket.
Your child will absolutely, at some point during this year, use a supply, tool, or activity his teacher paid for. And on a special occasion he will probably be the recipient of a gift of some sort purchased specifically for him by his teacher. When you think about all the students this teacher has in their classroom, this can really add up!
They Care About Your Child Individually
Remember how you couldn’t wait for the first day of school to have a break from your obnoxious, noisy kid? Well his teacher will gladly welcome him into the classroom, along with 30 plus more just like him. Not only will this teacher tolerate your child, but they will love him almost like their own.
Your child’s teacher will make a conscious effort to get to know your child and his needs. They will provide learning experiences and discipline measures tailored just to your child. And yes, there WILL be a time this teacher loses sleep thinking about how to help your child with his test anxiety, behavior problem, need to be challenged, social issue, developmental delay, or family crisis.
They Don’t Have to Be There
It’s true, as you might think, that this is all part of the job, and teachers should know what they’re getting into when they choose this profession. It’s also true that your child’s teacher doesn’t have to be there. They could have chosen any other career—one that paid more money or was a lot less stressful. They could certainly have chosen a profession with more prestige and respect.
But they felt called to this work, maybe because of their love for the subject they teach, or maybe because of a desire to shape the future. But most certainly, they chose to teach because of their love for children.
They Give Priceless Gifts
The most important thing to appreciate about your child’s teacher is the invaluable gift of learning they give. Education is valuable beyond measure. It is something that can never be taken away from your child and will enhance their life forever.
Think back to your teachers throughout your childhood. Chances are, you can remember at least one valuable skill or lesson you learned from each one. Think of what your child will gain this year from this teacher! Maybe this is the year she will master a certain academic task or perhaps she will learn an important life lesson that will serve her for life.
Each teacher brings a unique personality, experience, and style to their classroom. Something about this teacher is just what your child needs. You are the best advocate for your child, and working together, you and the teacher can make a powerful team in her behalf.
As you set out on this school year, try to keep this mindset. Rather than being impatient or critical of the teacher, remember all that they do right. Not only will it make the year go smoother for all involved, but it will provide a better learning experience for your child. And it’s never a bad idea to show an example of appreciation for those who serve us!
For ideas on how to best support your child’s teacher, read here.