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8 tips for parents from teachers
If you were one of the parents who found themselves homeschooling in 2020 and 2021, you probably discovered a newfound respect for your kid’s teachers. Check out our top tips for parents from teachers.
In 2020, the pandemic thrust the teaching of our children into the hands of some pretty unprepared parents. Overnight, schools across the world were shut down and when it became apparent this wasn’t going to be for just a few weeks, teachers and parents had to think outside of the box to continue their child’s education.
As a consequence, respect for teachers was at an all time high as parents leaned heavily on them to help guide their children though this unsettling time.
To help further strengthen the parent/teacher bond, we’ve pulled together the top eight tips for parents from teachers (with some remote learning tips sprinkled in there. Just in case!)
1. Teachers helping parents by working together
We really are all in this together. As Australia continues to grapple with lockdowns and stay at home orders for our kids, the need for teachers helping parents and working together has never been more important. Even when they’re back in the classroom, it should be a joint effort to make sure kids are getting the very best out of their education.
Parents are encouraged to speak about school and teachers in a positive way. Any issues between parents and teachers should be addressed with the teacher and/or school quickly and privately.
2. Keep the home to school information channels open
Is there something going on at home that your child’s school or teachers should know about? No matter how big or small, if it’s affecting your child, teachers want to know. Help and support, either through the school or external resources, is always available. Open communication is vital when it comes to a successful parent/teacher relationship.
3. Speak positively and openly with your child
Especially now with the world outside being an unsettling place. Lots of little people are struggling with very big feelings. They need to have something they can hold onto and that might just be their teacher and school.
4. Encourage your child to have an open dialogue with you and their teacher
As much as this is about tips for parents from teachers, it could also be tips for students from teachers. Following on from speaking positively about teachers and keeping the information flowing both ways, encourage your kids to be open with you and their teacher.
Children who feel supported and listened to are more likely to let you know if things aren’t going well or if they’re unhappy. This will help them build resilience that will stand them in good stead throughout their lives.
5. Visit the school or classroom as often as you can
Younger students love it when mum, dad, or their main caregiver visit the classroom. Little faces light up and small chests puff out with pride. Sticking around to help out or talk to the class about what you do, can be a wonderful treat for your child.
Of course, your older children may be mortified if you show up at their school, but we suspect, deep down, they’ll be happy to know you care enough to take the time to visit.
6. Read to your child
Read to your child. Experts across the world suggest that children need to be read to for a minimum of 20 minutes every day.
A research project commissioned by the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development found:
‘The frequency of reading to children at a young age has a direct causal effect on their schooling outcomes regardless of their family background and home environment.’
And perhaps most importantly:
‘These differences in reading and cognitive skills are not related to the child’s family background or home environment but are the direct result of how frequently they have been read to prior to starting school.’
7. Create a positive learning space for your child (including routines)
Just as a child’s classroom has drawings, paintings and writings from the children showcased on the walls, if you have the space available, do the same at home. At the very least, have a few fridge magnets and proudly exhibit your young Picasso, Frida Kahlo or Shakespeare’s works for all the world (or kitchen visitors) to see.
It doesn’t matter if kids are at school, remote learning or doing homework and study, they need routine. Help establish routines and systems to stay organised. This will help everyone stay (somewhat) sane.
The right stuff
If you can spare the room, get a proper desk and chair. Also ensure you have proper and adequate lighting. Have all the tools your child will need. Pens, paper and pencils. Or tablets and laptops.
Make the space somewhere they want to be, rather than somewhere they just have to be.
8. Spend quality one on one time with your child
Real quality time. Not time with one eye on your mobile phone or the television.
Make a special ‘you and me’ day and set off on an adventure together. Just because you think grocery shopping or going to the post office is boring, doesn’t mean your kids feel the same way. Let’s face it, children’s authors make money from writing about ‘going to the shop or post office or park’, so there has got to be something about that your kids will love.
Also consider sharing your hobbies. Teach them to bake a cake or weed the garden. Or maybe even tell them funny stories about your own childhood.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our top tips for parents from teachers. We know learning is a journey that begins at home but planning financially for your child’s education journey can take a little more planning. Something we’d love to help you prepare for.