Friday, March 3, 2017

Becoming the teacher's pet (when you are a parent)

Right before Valentine's Day, I received several brightly colored pieces of paper letting me know that parents were invited into the classroom to secretly decorate their child's desk for February 14.

I know my work schedule. I know that traffic is as much my friend as it is my enemy. So, I took the day off. And, although I was able to accomplish a lot of stuff on that day off, the primary reason was that I could go to my son's school while he was riding the bus home and secretly place hearts all over his desk.

I appreciate when these special school notices are sent well in advance so I can make plans. (They don't balance out all the fundraising notices, but I get it.) I try really hard to participate where I can - signing up to bring items in for parties, attend the concerts when I am able, and let the teachers know that I care.

That last item is especially important, as researchers have found that teachers are willing to do more for children (either through more individual time spent with them or going the extra mile to support them when times are tough) if teachers have a positive view of the parents.

To working parents, who  come home to start dinner and check on homework and take children to activities...that is a lot of extra pressure.

So, the question becomes: How do you show your child's teacher that you really care about your child's education? Tell me in the comments.


  1. As a daycare teacher, I can tell you there a lot of great ways to become our favourite parent (and most of them generalize to all types of school).

    The biggest thing is just treating us like a person. Saying "Hi, how are you this morning?" goes a long way. It's always surprising to me how many parents don't bother with a simple courtesy when they drop their kids off or pick them up.

    Bringing small gifts for Teacher Appreciation Day, Christmas, or Valentines day really sets you apart in our minds as well. It doesn't have to be fancy or expensive, but letting us know that you appreciate what we do for your children paints you in a positive light.

    Meeting our requests for your kids is also a big deal. In daycare, we typically ask for things like diaper or wipe refills, or sunscreen when it's sunny out. In school, these would be things like bringing in a family picture for a craft, or getting their worksheet done. When parents neglect these things, it tells us that you don't care about your child's well-being/education.

    There are just a few things that can go a long way towards becoming the teacher's pet. :) Respect and kindness - the things that connect human beings with each other in every facet of life.

    1. Thanks for this, Dawn! It seems like a little really can go a long way.