Summer is done. It’s over. I know this because school starts tomorrow. I am just devastated. I’m not ready. My brain has not recovered fully and now I have to throw it right back into the chaos of learning? I cannot do 10th grade for the 5th time.
I cannot even…
I did it once personally then 3 other times on behalf of my three older kids. Now I am being forced to do it with my youngest, least interested in school child.
It might kill me this time, it just really might.
He and I have had a sort of partnership over the years when it comes to all things “school”.
I do all the worrying. I keep up with what is due and when, though I don’t always know why. I devise study strategies, none of which have ever been successful. I develop very close working relationships with his teachers, which might explain why they act like they don’t see me when I wave at them in the grocery store.
His part in all of this is to somehow make it to school and back home. What happens in between is somewhat vague because he never seems to be able to recall when he gets home.
Teachers, I’m sorry. That’s all I know to say. And I will give you a very nice Christmas gift. VERY NICE.
It recently occurred to me that as traumatized as I am about school starting, teachers might be feeling somewhat traumatized themselves. Not only will they have my “Oh, you were serious about having a test?” child to deal with but they will also have several more just like him.
With this realization came a desire to reach out and let teachers know how much I appreciate them. I decided to ask some teacher friends what they wished we as parents understood about the first week of school and then share their answers with all of you. This way we can help them get the school year off to a less stressful start. I laughed over some of their responses and cringed over others because I may have experienced some feelings of guilt…
We need to recognize that the start of school is stressful for teachers too because they are multitasking on a whole new level. They are organizing materials, students, volunteers, Kleenex boxes, lesson plans, and often their own families. So here a few things to understand and embrace as the new school year begins.
1. We should send the requested supplies to school on the requested day and if the supply list asks for a red, blue, green, and yellow folder, then that’s what we should send. Yes, the Minion folder is cute and no, it doesn’t count as a yellow folder because the Minion is yellow.
2. We should write our child’s name on the supplies we send, on his or her book bag, and I personally think it would be helpful to go ahead and write the child’s name on the child. That prevents any mistaken identities.
3. We should assume paper and pencils are necessities.
4. For the love of all that is decent, please only buy Crayola crayons.
5. For those of us with younger students, let’s give a quick hug and kiss, turn and flee for our cars. Do not turn around; do not look back. Remember what happened to Lot’s wife when they were fleeing Sodom and Gomorrah…
6. We should make sure the 2nd grader is dropped off in the 2nd grade classroom and not in the first grade classroom. They were there last year. This is a new year.
7. Of course we want to take several pictures of our sweet babies and their new teachers in order to capture the excitement of a new school year. All 25 of us. But 25 times x number of pictures = chaos.
8. In light of all the chaos we created from the picture taking, let’s make sure the new teacher looks really good when we post to Facebook.
9. I don’t know if any of you have ever noticed this or not, but there is more than one desk in the classroom. This leads me to believe that my child might not be the only student in the class and there is a possibility that the teacher’s attention might have to be divided among several students.
10. On the heels of this revelation, it also occurs to me that my child and your child might not be quite as precious as we tend to think they are. Sit down and take a few minutes to regain your composure if you need to. It is totally understandable.
11. If the temperature is 30 degrees, we should send a coat. Though this has absolutely nothing to do with the first week of school in South Carolina, there is nothing wrong with planning for the future.
12. Fake cell phone numbers on the contact form are not acceptable. They will find us in spite of our best efforts to not be found.
13. If we text the teacher during school hours and don’t receive an immediate response, it might be safe to assume that he or she is… teaching.
14. If we try to call a teacher at home and she doesn’t answer, she might just hate us and our child OR she might be eating supper with her family, helping her child with homework, or sleeping.
15. Sometimes the teacher is telling the truth and our child is, well, not. I know this because I taught middle school. As much as this concept shocks us as parents, it is not outside of the realm of possibilities that our own flesh and blood can tell an untruth. To say, “My child has never lied to me,” prompts me to humbly ask, “How do you know?”
16. As parents we need to communicate concerns with the teacher, but not on the first day. We can give the teacher a few days to settle in. We need to schedule conferences and not just drop by because we might actually be taking time from a parent who did schedule a conference.
17. One email a day is sufficient. There is no need to email 12 times before the end of school.
18. Teachers do not live at school therefore; we should let them go home at a reasonable hour.
19. Teachers like snacks, too.
20. Teachers also like to know that they have our support. If little Johnny misbehaves, then the threat of a phone call to mom should stop him dead in his tracks, and even bring him to his knees where he pleads for forgiveness.
21. If our kids don’t have homework the entire week, maybe something is amiss.
22. Maybe our child not knowing there was going to be a test on fractions on Friday was not the teacher’s fault.
23. Our children are inundated with distractions – TV, cell phones, cars, opposite sex, YouTube, etc. If our children’s grades are slipping, I wonder if it would be better to blame the teacher or remove said distractions?
24. Recognizing that teaching can be tough, that most teachers teach because they care and obviously not for the pay, and that they want to work with us for the success of our children is important for us to keep at the forefront of our thoughts.
25. This should be a given and not really counted in the things we need to be reminded of. We need to daily pray for our children’s teachers, encourage them as often as we can, and let them know they have our gratitude and support. If it weren’t for teachers, summer vacation would never end and maybe that wouldn’t be such a great thing.
Thanks to all the teachers as we begin a new year, we love you, we’re behind you, and we’re praying for you!
Have a great year,
“Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
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