It's that time.
We're scheduling haircuts and sports physicals, organizing carpools, and squeezing in those last summer getaways.
We're scanning the cabinets and drawers searching for anything we already have that would cut down the time and money spent in those bright, overstocked back-to-school aisles.
We're buying new shoes again (because OH MY GOSH, how have their feet grown two sizes in three months?!), stocking up on lunch supplies, and turning off the Fortnite games to make sure the required summer reading gets finished.
And guess what? Your children's teachers are doing all of that, PLUS preparing their classrooms and their lesson plans for fun math stations, hands-on science projects, inspiring history lessons, and inviting reading nooks for YOUR children.
So, as we all feverishly prepare ourselves and our kids for another school year, what can we do to ensure a great start for EVERYONE?
As a former teacher and mama of four, this is my best (and only) advice.
Be nice to the teachers.
This doesn't mean buying them extravagant gifts or signing up for every volunteer/room mom/chaperone position. It simply means being friendly, and gracious, and grateful.
First, because they are about to spend an enormous amount of time and effort and heart connecting with and teaching your children for the next nine months. It's an unbelievably difficult and honorable job that should be rewarded a thousand times over.
Also, little eyes are watching you. The way you talk to and about your children's teachers sets the tone. If YOU smile and use kind words from the beginning, your children see that you respect those teachers and their positions. Your attitude is contagious, with your kiddos, the teachers, and even the other parents. When you're excited and go in with a positive attitude, so many times others will follow suit.
Beyond a smile and a handshake, what you say can convey how you want to kick off this new relationship. Not sure what to say?
Say "Call (or text/email) me anytime. Here's my contact info."
Say "I want to help any way I can."
Say, "How would YOU prefer I contact you?"
Say, "Thank you for being so warm/inviting/organized/friendly."
Just SAY SOMETHING so the teacher knows you're available for discussion, that you're ready to be part of her/his team, that you want there to be open communication and positive interactions between school and home.
It's SO MUCH easier for everyone when it isn't parents vs. teachers, and instead everyone is on the same page and the same team.
We know what teachers give to their students. It's unbelievable what lessons (both academic and life) my boys have learned through the incredibly creative, heartfelt, beautiful efforts of their teachers.
The least we can give them in return is our thanks and a positive partnership.
And if you can, throw in some extra hand sanitizer.
Love (and hug a teacher) more,