I’m a huge fan of teachers. HUGE. Have you ever sat in room with 21 seven year olds? For longer than ten minutes? What if someone told you you were responsible for making sure they were all READING in a few months. All of them. Oh, and you also need to make sure they feel safe, loved, believed in, taken care of, creative, known…. TWENTY ONE SEVEN YEAR OLDS.
Twenty one personalities. Twenty one learning styles. Twenty one sets of parents. Twenty one family histories. Twenty one IQs.
Did you know that 91% of teachers buy basic supplies for their classroom with their own money?
That 67% of teachers buy snacks for their students to help with nutritional gaps?
That 1 in 3 teachers purchase clothing items for students like hats, gloves, and shoes?
Put yourself in their shoes for just a second and think about their capacity to give and give and give. I cannot imagine a more important profession in our society – can you? Think back on your own childhood and the teachers that shaped you. I can name a teacher from every single grade that I worshiped and adored. And I have a hard time remembering my own engagement (it’s not personal John) – so clearly these teachers made a HUGE impact on my life and choices.
If any of you follow me on FB or Instagram, you know that I LOVE to encourage teachers. I feel like part of my role as a parent is to be their cheerleader, helper, and supporter. Sure, we’ve had a couple of moments with teachers where I’ve had to step in and advocate for my child, but even in those moments – I give them the benefit of the doubt and aim to work WITH them instead of against them. These people are working their TAILS off and then turning around to spend their paycheck on their students.
Here are a few ideas on how to be the kind of parent a teacher wants to have around:
- Give them a survey and ask them what their favorites are – that way when it comes time to give them a happy or treat them during teacher appreciation week – you KNOW what they like and aren’t buying generic hand lotions for all of them.
- Treat them often! Now that you know their favorites you can tailor their goodies…
- Or you can give them all something fun that everyone should love…
- Ask them how you can help in their classrooms and then show up…
(This teacher needed help pulling out a bajillion workbook pages, collating and folding them all by lesson – how in the world would she have time to do this AND actually teach these people how to subtract?!)
- Leave them encouragement in their mailboxes…
This was just an amazing blog post that I copied and stuffed their boxes with. A lot of times mailboxes are filled with icky things like actual WORK, so this is a fun way to make their day a little brighter.
I know that we all have busy lives – and that not everyone has time to volunteer in their child’s classroom. But I’m almost certain you can help in SOME way. Buy them a ream of paper, send them an encouraging email, back them up when your kid is talking negatively about them. Teachers deserve more than one week in May to be appreciated. Did I mention the TWENTY ONE 7 YEAR OLDS?!
These people are superheroes and saints. I don’t know how they do it.