Note: Next week, after all work is done, I am planning the big reveal of my classroom. I am SUPER excited!
I have been spending quite a few hours in my classroom trying to get it ready for the new school year. It has really been Spring Cleaning in July (and August). At times I think that I took on more than I could handle, but envisioning the final product is what keeps me going (or at least that is what my cardio instructor says). There have been lots and I mean LOTS of throwing away, giving away, and recycling.
While cleaning, I came across an old lunch menu and I could not help but think about my students and the trading that takes place during lunch. It was here that the idea for my post emerged. It was an ‘aha’ moment. As a matter of fact, I started thinking about all the things I wished I had told or warned parents, but somehow forgot.
The following list includes the TOP 5 things I am convinced every teacher wishes parents would know. I hope you find this list informative. So here it goes:
Number 1: Be realistic about what your child really eats
You pack your child a healthy and nutritious lunch. You even include some celery and carrots to add some fiber into his/her diet. When your child gets home from school, you are happy to see that all the food is gone (including the celery sticks!). Well, while I am glad to report that your child did not throw the ‘celery’ away, it is very likely he/she traded those veggies for a sugary drink or some crunchy fried chips. My point? Have an honest conversation with your child and try to reach a compromise. Maybe celery does not cut it, but kale chips might. This is something you (parents/caregivers) do not have much control over, so you need to be realistic and talk about the importance of healthy eating (again!).
Number 2: Every child needs a water bottle
While teacher classroom policies vary, every child needs to have sufficient water to carry him/her through the day. Yes, schools have water fountains, but do not get me started on germs. If your child’s teacher happen to ‘not’ allow water in the classroom, talk to him/her and let them know that this is sort of a….non-negotiable situation. However, water does NOT equal fruit punch. I will allow water no problem (it can be easily cleaned), but will not allow sugary drinks in my class. Sorry.
Number 3: Know you child’s daily schedule
I cannot emphasize how important this is as it can determine how prepared you send your child to school. This particularly applies to P.E. days (physical education), field trips, and other activities that require your child to engage in constant physical activity. While dresses are really adorable, they are not the most comfortable running attire.
Number 4: Keep us posted of any family changes/major events (whether positive or negative)
Children can react very differently to challenging family situations both at home and school. Teachers, want nothing but the best for their students; unfortunately, we are not mind readers. Please let us know of any major events happening at home. This can be a difficult topic to share, but TRUST me on this one; teachers need this information to better serve your child (make adjustments, exceptions, etc). Whether divorce, separation, family member moving away or family member in town, we can together devise a plan and avoid issues.
Number 5: Let us know of any health conditions that may affect your child’s behavior/performance at school
Teachers have seen it all and again, the more information we have the better we will be able to serve your child and help you with school related activities/assignments. Has your child had a bad experience on a fire drill, and he/she is petrified of them? He/she really struggles to make new friends each year and needs extra help? Does your child have any allergies (dairy/peanuts/gluten)? He/she has severe anxiety and needs reassurance at pick up time (reassurance that you will be there)? Communicate with us. We really appreciate it.
So, are you ready for the new school year? Hope you are. It will be a great 2013-2014 school year.