5 Ways to Support a Teacher Throughout the Year
Disclaimer: This is not your typical, feel good, parent-teacher blog post with cutesy Pinterest links included. This is written from the perspective of a teacher-mom who deeply feels the heavy responsibility of educating today’s youth in the current culture and climate. It is primarily written on behalf of public school educators.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” – Nelson Mandela
Wise words, spoken by a wise man. Education, in its many forms, is the source of all occupations and vocations. Without it, one’s quality of life would be abysmal. It truly is the great equalizer.
Teaching is a hard and often thankless job. It requires long hours, day in and day out. And yes, in the summer too. Educators carry the burdens of their students with them as they wearily head home each day. They endure the ever-increasing pressure to have high test scores. Teachers dig into their own shallow pockets to buy school supplies. Many work side jobs in addition to raising families. The demands of teaching children are many and people are leaving the profession in droves.
And yet… you meet the one who loves your child like their own. The one who stays late to tutor your daughter who struggles with math. The one who shows up at your son’s baseball game. The one who attends your child’s graduation a decade later. The one who inspired your daughter to become a nurse. The one who stood in harms way to protect your son. Teachers get into this profession because they care about kids and shaping the future.
But parents, teachers need you. Here are 5 simple ways you can support a teacher this year:
- Show gratitude. A random act of kindness, words of encouragement and affirmation, or a thoughtful gift can give a teacher the boost they need to get through a long day.
- Donate. Ask him/her if the classroom has any supply needs and offer to foot the bill.
- Communicate. Is your family going through major life changes? Giving your child’s teacher a heads up provides them with the background knowledge to be sensitive to your child’s needs. Was there an incident at school that you have questions or concerns about? Talk to your child’s teacher first.
- Be present. At most, volunteer at school and show up to school events. In the least, ask your child about their day and what they’re learning. Place value on their education and do what you are able to be involved in the process.
- Advocate. Don’t bad mouth your child’s teacher in front of them. Encourage your child if they tell you they “want to be a teacher when they grow up”. Brag on your child’s teacher to the principal or out in the community. Promote your school. Vote for politicians who support education.
It has been modeled well in other countries – but if we, the parents, choose to honor and lift up our teachers then the profession will begin to attract the best and brightest once more. Only then, will we as a society, be able to make headway on the grounds of education. Parents, you hold more power than you know.