I’m always on the look out for ways to connect with teachers.
Here at Happily Ever Mom, we know how important teachers are to our kids. They have such a valuable role and hard job to do for our children every day. And, instead of getting upset with teachers over the little (or the big) things, we know a lot of that can be avoided by building strong relationships with our children’s teachers.
10+ Ways to Connect with Teachers
1.) Smile – something simple, but it makes an impact!
2.) Say hi – teachers are often busy in the midst of transitioning students in the morning. Be sure to say hi, make eye contact, or acknowledge them in some way before you leave (or pick up your child from school). Don’t walk your child into school everyday? Find some time during the week when you can make contact with your teacher. Keeping in touch is so important.
3.) Offer your time – we are all busy, no matter what we do, but offering to volunteer in a classroom or offering to do something outside of school hours for your child’s teacher (prepping for open house, buying pizzas for the kids, or fundraising a $1 from each parent to help your teacher buy supplies…). There are so many quick and easy ways to help support your teacher even if you feel like you don’t have any extra time to do so.
4.) Know the Details – figure out when their birthday is (although some teachers don’t want their birthday acknowledge – I say that one from experience!), know how many kids they have or don’t have, do they live in the area or commute – sometimes knowing the details can help you figure out how to connect with your teacher. This free printable is a great way to help kids figure out their teachers favorite things from Meaningful Mama.
5.) Give gifts when appropriate – gifts are great, but it can be tricky to figure out the “right” gift to give a teacher. Gift cards are a classic gift, but giving something to the classroom is even better. Most teachers use a lot of their own income to put right back into classroom supplies and upkeep. Try to think of something enriching for the room or something that can help a teacher out (like this amazing planner). I’m telling you, most teachers love to plan, love colored markers and pens, and all things organization. I don’t know why…but, there’s something incredibly gratifying about keeping things organized in the classroom….just saying!
6.) “Take responsibility for your child’s education.” I love this quote from my friend Jodi over at Meaningful Mama. When in doubt, remember that we all play a part in our child’s education. Not all learning happens in the classroom and we are just as responsible in our child’s education journey (if not more so) as our child’s teacher.
7.) Be on time/turn things in on time – It’s one of those little things, but being on time to conferences and turning things in on time truly is a way to connect with teachers (just ask them how much they appreciate it!).
8.) Show up – And, in the same breath, show up to anything you’ve scheduled with your teacher like conferences. Better yet, show up to assemblies, school events, and any other way that you can show your support. Don’t have a job that supports you taking off time to be at your child’s school? Try helping to organize one event for the year or tell the teacher your situation and ask if there is a way you can support the class. Just making an effort helps!
9.) Be on their side – it’s a tricky balance. If your child is saying something happened at school with a teacher or otherwise, it can be hard to know what actually happened. But, always check in with the teacher on the issue too. Communication is key.
10.) Give gratitude – I think all of these boil down to one thing: gratitude. Telling a teacher that you appreciate the time, effort, love, education, and patience that they have put into your child is priceless. Most teachers started out because of they had a love of teaching and a love of children. Hearing from parents that that effort is noticed is priceless.
Not only are we helping to make our teacher’s day a little bit better, but we’re role modeling to our kids how to show appreciation and respect – now, that’s a win/win!