Teaching Your Kid to be the Apple of the Teacher ‘s Eye
Do you want your kid to succeed in school? Do you want him/her to be happy, feel successful, make good grades, learn more and remember it better? Do you hope that everything he/she learns in school will be applicable in later life?
Of course, you do. Every caring and responsible parent wants this and guess what – every caring and responsible teacher wants it too. So how come it is not happening in some classrooms across the nation? How come it may not be happening for your kid?
We are distilling learning in this country to test scores instead of mastery and achievement. And that is a whole different issue than this one but the idea relates to the role of the teacher and child in the classroom. When we refuse to acknowledge the importance of the relationship between student and teacher, or try to downplay its significance, then learning suffers. acim teachers
1. Teach your child to have respect for teachers and education in general. If you are badmouthing education and make comments about “how stupid teachers are, how education stinks, how teachers teach because they can’t do anything else”. Guess what, your child will carry this attitude into the classroom. Even if they do not hear you- you think- nonverbal messages are 80% of all communications.
2. Set the standard for learning as a top priority in your home and set those expectations for school.
Words like” I expect you to do the best you can. Work to the best of your ability. Listen carefully and work hard. ” are music to teachers’ ears. Most teachers love kids and love to teach and are entranced by the magic of learning that they see happening in kids. It is what keeps most of us in classrooms.
3. Teach your child to like others and smile at them. Teach them courtesy, manners, politeness, and how to make friends. When children know socialization skills and have seen modeled behavior for kindness and good manners, they carry these behaviors with them into public schools. These skills will benefit them all their lives especially into their careers. Knowing how to get along and work in a team cooperatively is a vital skill to success. Teachers love these kind of kids and depend on them as models for behaviors- kind of like a right hand man.
4. Teach your child the importance of giving compliments and the importance of being able to receive them. Ditto with criticisms or suggestions. Teachers love to give compliments and know most kids need them to understand when they are learning, but teachers expect a response appropriate for the situation. Same with handing out compliments- “Thanks, Mrs. Murray. You helped me learn about fractions. I can really understand them now. ” Music again and symphonies play.
5. Pay attention to your child. When she/he is ill do not send them to school. You devalue your child by telling them she/he is not more important than your meeting. If your meeting is vital, find a reliable and caring nurse, grandparent, kind neighbor for a few hours, then come home and care for him/her yourself. Nannies don’t cut it either.
6. If your child’s teacher make suggestions, listen carefully and ask questions without becoming defensive. Most teachers want to help your child and improve his/her learning or behavior. They are not out to get your kid. Make a plan with your child and the teacher present, if appropriate. If the concerns are referral to a physician or specialist, do not make judgements about your child’s condition until you have all the facts. Neither should your child’s teacher. But if there are problems and you help to remedy them and are sincere in your efforts, there is nothing that you and the teacher cannot accomplish for your child. Your child and you will be the apple of that teacher’s eye.
7. Participate in school. Your child will love you for coming to lunch or attending the father/child picnic.
Believe it or not, teachers are very aware and appreciative when parents come to school and get involved or help out. There is nothing sadder or more heartbreaking for a teacher than a day when a child has no parents show up for the “picnic, play, luncheon”. You are definitely not the apple of the teacher’s eye. Teacher’s know you cannot attend everything but try to come to the really big events. This includes parent conferences. Attendance by both parents at parent conferences in elementary school is a big shining apple. Guess what. Your behavior tells the teacher that you love and care about your child and it tells your child the same thing. As your child grows older, continue to attend conferences and be involved. Involvement may mean a call or an email conference once in a while but that relationship with your child’s teacher is just as important in middle and high school as it is in primary school. So keep in contact- even when they groan and complain about it. Keeping the finger on the pulse is a way you can help monitor behavior, achievement and keep them out of trouble.
8. Help your child appreciate strengths and weaknesses. Almost every child in their life will have a teacher that does not ring their chimes, they don’t particularly adore, or has a different personality than theirs. This is part of life. Unless there is a severe and destructive or unhealthy relationship and/or your child is not learning, maybe they should learn to accept people’s differences. Public school is all about learning tolerance, acceptance and understanding of other people and cultures. This is replicated in the business or adult world. Listen carefully. Just because Mrs. Adams is a strict disciplinarian does not mean that your child is not learning many lessons and more than just academic ones. Have you ever had a tough boss? Discuss this with your child but focus on how this experience helped you grow as an adult. We will all have to work with people we don’t like sometimes. The best way to do this is to see their strengths and appreciate them. Perhaps a tough boss helped you live up to your potential when you might have been sort of sliding.
9. Never, I repeat never, go to the principal to complain about your child’s teacher unless you expect the relationship to end. Alway try to work any differences out with the teacher first. If he/she is surly, defensive, totally uncooperative, then you have reason to speak to the principal.
There will be no shine on the apple for you or your child if you whine and demand special treatment for your child. Think of the example you are setting for your child, by the way. He/she will be the same adult who expects to do minimal work for top pay, or special treatment just because he/she exists- resented by all.