What elementary school teachers want parents to know

School supply lists are popping up in all local retail stores as back-to-school time rapidly approaches. Parents are carefully checking off each item, ensuring that their child is prepared for the upcoming school year. Before sending  children back to school this month, take time to contemplate what teachers really want parents to know before school begins this Fall. Bethany Brant, fourth grade teacher at Acton Elementary in Duncanville, was kind enough to offer some advice for parents of elementary school children.

How can parents ease first day nerves?

Discuss what a typical day looks like. Many schools offer tours and Open House nights. Take advantage of these. Also, I read the book First Day Jitters to bring a smile and a laugh from my students on the first day.

How can parents prepare their children for the upcoming school year?

Summer routines are hard to break, so start the new bedtime and wake-up routine before school starts.Get into the habit of picking out clothes and packing lunches at night. Let children pick out their own school supplies (color, character, etc) to give them ownership over the new school year and help them get excited about school

What is the “must-have” school supply for elementary-aged students?

Pencils! There must be a pencil monster in every classroom that eats the pencils when no one is looking! Send pencils the first day of school with your child and then check back monthly to see if/when they need more.

How can parents be of assistance to the elementary school teacher?

Read to your child! Reading to your child at night is the most beneficial activity a parent can do. Switch up the process: one night you read to them, the other night they read to you.   If parents want to come up to school to help the teacher, be sure to make plans beforehand to  verify that  there is a project or task that needs to be done.

 What is one thing teachers wished parents did not do?

We have a saying at school: “I will only believe half of what your child tells me about what happens at home if you only believe half of what your child tells you about what happens at school.”   Before judgments are made, let’s come together to discuss the issue. If you feel as if your child has been wronged, talk to me about it. The irate, yelling and demanding parent and the calm and collected parent both usually end up at the same resolution point. One just has her dignity and credibility in tact.

What advice do elementary school teachers have for parents?

Get to know your child’s teacher before you “need” to know them. If your child alerts you to issues arising at school (trouble at recess, P.E. woes, etc) let the teacher know. Sometimes teachers are unaware of this issues until there is trouble because the child let mom know but was too shy to say anything at school

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