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Reprinted with permission from
It’s time to jump back into the chaos of the school year. While the transition can be tough for parents and kids, imagine what a big change it is for teachers.
Now imagine how we as parents can help smooth out the start of the year—and make sure it continues down that path–by helping our child’s teacher and making her feel appreciated from day one.
1. Give the teacher a welcome basket with coupons, school supplies, and little goodies like granola bars, flavored tea, stickers, mints, and chocolate.
2. Volunteer to help with classroom set-up (getting bulletin boards decorated and desks in place).
3. Take pictures of the teacher with each child on the first day of school. The kids will love it, and it makes for a wonderful memory at the end of the year.
4. Set up a parent schedule to supervise at recess or lunch time to give the teacher a break (VolunteerSpot’s free calendar signup sheets makes it easy for parents to help out when it fits their schedule).
5. Start a meal circle where parents take turns bringing lunch or a special morning treat to the teacher once a week; if you band together, you’re turn will come up about two times per year.
6. Share your strengths. If you’re artistic, offer to make cool signs to jazz up the classroom; if you’re musical, lead songs at the class party; scientific or techy, help with experiments or share computer skills with the class.
7. Save coupons and gift cards for office supplies throughout the year.
8. Share a skill or a family tradition (heritage, interesting job, hobby, etc.) with the class.
9. If you can’t help out at school during the day, offer to take prep work home for the teacher. “Office work” is always needed in getting materials and supplies prepared, especially in the lower grades.
10. Attend your parent-teacher conference with an open mind and questions ready. Together you'll establish a supportive team for your child.
11. Keep an eye out for discounts or free passes for things the teacher can do with her own children, like movie tickets, restaurants, and local performances.
12. One of the best things you can do is simply send your kids to school well-rested, well-fed, and with assignments complete so they are ready to learn.
Remember the more involved as a parent, the easier it is for the teacher to concentrate on her oh-so-important job of educating your children. Get excited, get involved, and get your school year off to a fabulous start!
About the Author
Karen Bantuveris is the founder and CEO of VolunteerSpot -- free online signup sheets save time and make it easy to organize parents for just about anything: classroom helpers, snack schedules, carnivals, library volunteers, parent-teacher conferences and more. Karen lives in Austin, TX with her husband and daughter.