This is National Teacher Appreciation Week
To honor those that educate our children, many schools and parents around the country are showing their appreciation. Some teachers are receiving breakfast, lunch, flowers, and gifts. This is great, because everyone loves food, flowers and gifts. However, purchasing a gift is not necessary. Instead, here are 7 ways you can show your appreciation to your child’s teacher.
1-Be There – Yes, I know, I can hear it now…
“I can’t be at my child’s school. I have to work.”
I truly understand. I am a mother too, and most teachers have children, as well. When I say, “Be There” I understand that a physical presence is not always possible. “Be There” means when a teacher needs a parent, they you are willing, able, and ready to “Be There” when needed. If that is via phone or email that is great. It means knowing what is happening in your child’s classroom and supporting their education. “Be There” means communicating often to stay abreast on your child’s educational performance. So, Please “Be There” for your child, and for your child’s teacher.
2- Keep Sick Children Home – “Who does that?” you may ask. “Who sends kids to school when they are sick?” Uhhh….some parents! Perhaps mom or dad thought their child’s 110.9 degree temperature and diarrhea would subside by the time they reached school. No it didn’t!
If your child is sick, don’t send them to school. Another child may contract it or the teacher (me), causing an epidemic, where the entire student body and staff need to be quarantined away from school. So, please, just keep your child at home when they are sick.
3- Don’t call your child’s teacher with a nasty attitude, send mean notes, or emails to your child’s teacher – Yes! I said it! Over the years, I have received my share of unpleasant phone calls, notes, and emails. Just recently, a parent sent me a less than kind note. I was “accused” (not asked) of “isolating” their child. There were no questions or investigating the alleged incident. It was simply, “You did this to my child.”
Parents, if your child comes home and tells you that their teacher did something, please contact the teacher, ASKING QUESTIONS (Yes, I just screamed that). Unfortunately, I’ve seen my share of untruthful children, LYING KIDS. They can twist an issue, omitting valuable information, such as why they were in trouble, and their part in the situation.
Just remember, there is always more to your child’s story, so before you react, with nasty phone calls, notes, or emails, ASK QUESTIONS (And YES, I’m screaming again).
4- Send Your Child to Bed On Time – I know, you are probably saying….
“Who do you think you are, telling me what time my child can go to bed?” “I can do whatever I want?”
Yes, you can allow your child to go to bed anytime you want. Yet understand that just like adults need sleep, children need sleep, but more.
Just recently, my student fell asleep in class. This boy was in a good sleep. He was snoring, as if he worked the late shift, then rushed to school. He explained that he didn’t get enough sleep the night before, because he was up late.
Children can’t stay up late. They need to go to bed at a reasonable time or they will NOT function properly. As adults, we should think about how we are when we don’t receive enough sleep. We become angry, mean, and ready to fight. Children are the same way. So, please make sure your child is in bed at a reasonable hour.
5- Monitor your child’s television and movie viewing – Yes, I said it. I’m actually screaming this one through my bullhorn.
Over the years, I have heard students talk about various television shows and movies that they watch. I will not mention those shows, as I don’t want to promote them. However, I will just say, I have had elementary school students mention shows that have profanity, violence, sexual content, and more. This is not good.
There are many reports and research that tell us that, this programming has a negative effect on children. And teachers see it. Those attitudes spill over into the mind and thoughts of children, building their character. I’ve seen girls and boys, arguing and fighting like they are cast members on a reality show. Children don’t need to watch these kinds of programs. It is not good for them. So, please check what your child is viewing on their television and movie screen.
6- STOP allowing your child to play violent video games – If the boys in my class knew I was writing this, they would have a fit. I’ve heard their stories of playing video games that depict violent scenes. Games where there is shooting, killing, stealing, and cruelty against women.
Research has concluded that there are negative effects of violent video games on children. It shows a correlation between aggressive thoughts, feelings, and behavior. So please STOP allowing your child to play violent video games.
7- Help Your Child at Home, You are the First Teacher – Some parents may not like this, yet it must be expressed.
Your child’s teacher IS NOT their first teacher, YOU ARE.
A few years ago, I told this to a parent, and it wasn’t well received (she had an attitude with me).
Yes, we see your children for a large chunk of the day and we influence their life during this time. However, parents NEED to help their children at home, with reading, writing, math, and more. Prior to reaching school, parents need to instill a strong educational foundation in them by teaching them how to talk, communicate (handle conflict), share, read, spell, and write. (Yes, write their names.)
Also, helping your child at home should not only occur in the primary and elementary grades. It should not end when parents feel the child is old enough to do their homework on their own. NO! Parents need to stay involved in their child’s education throughout their school years.
Supporting your child at home will make a huge impact on the path that your child will take in the future.
So if you want to show your appreciation to your child’s teacher, you may still buy a gift. Teachers love gifts. However, the best gift we as teachers can receive, is parents showing their appreciation through one of the 7 ways mentioned above. That gift will be appreciated for a lifetime.