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  • Writer's pictureElisa Brazell


The first thing many moms do when they find out their child's teacher is start asking around, "Is this Mrs. So and So a good teacher?" "Didn't your son have Mr. Doe last year? What did he think of him?"

I despise this tradition 😣! The judgement! The gossip!

I've been asked my opinion before but have hesitated and usually refrained from participating in it. If I did, I only shared good things I had observed. ➡Why? Because I was a teacher.

Who likes to know they're being talked about behind their backs? Good or bad? Teachers know it happens and hope its good, but it's going to be different depending on who its coming from.

Little Johnny who did all his work, respected the teacher, was helpful and kind to his classmates most definitely had a different experience than Sally who would never stay in the place she was supposed to be, was always chatting with the kids next to her and brought toys in her backpack every day, distracting her and the kids around her from doing their work. ADHD or not, teaching a child like that is not for the faint-hearted. Even the most patient and skilled teachers will probably lose it a little on the Sally's of the world.

So what's the more upstanding way of finding more out about the teacher?

Well, it's simple. You do it the way you would want someone else to find out about you and who you are. What you are like. You wouldn't want others talking to someone else to get their opinion of you. Right? Wouldn't you want them to formulate their opinion of you by interacting with YOU, and getting to know you that way? Let's show the same respect to teachers.

How do we do this as parents?

• We can attend back to school night and ask questions. Even get to know the teacher as a person by asking about their family, interests etc.

• We can volunteer in the classroom if our work schedule permits.

• We can ask them how our child is doing and behaving in class on a regular basis.

• We can attend school and class events, including parent- teacher conference.

How can we prepare our kids to have a great school year no matter who their teacher is?

Well, all of the above. We get out of something what we put in.

But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.         
                                                2nd Corinthians 9:6

Plus, we can teach them to:

• Look for the good in their teacher. If at any point during the year, they are struggling to like their teacher or have any issues, have them write the good they see in their teacher down. And use it to write a letter of appreciation for what they noticed about their teacher.

• Show respect by being obedient and willing to help, not only when asked, but offer unsolicited help as well.

• Tell you when issues arise. As a parent, you can get this out of them too, by asking on a regular basis how they feel about their teacher and class. Have an open line of communication to give them space to talk about their feelings. Use questions like,

"When you think of your teacher, do you feel happy, sad or angry?"

"Oh, what happened that made you feel that way?"

"What can you do to fix that?

"How can I help you fix that?"

No matter who your child's assigned teacher is, you can help them use this approach to relationship building to connecting with their teacher in a positive way. Your efforts to connect with the school and teacher will be instrumental as well.

It is a choice to have an awesome school year!

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