Among the ranks of elementary teachers, it’s pretty safe to say: once a teacher, always a teacher. I taught third grade and kindergarten before my children were born, and I was the quintessential elementary teacher. With a lifetime’s aspirations and my degree finally in hand, I embraced it all: right down to the plaid jumpers and wooden jewelry. It was pretty extreme… I even ran our home the way a teacher runs her classroom: our menu was displayed on a color-coded bulletin board, our shelves were stocked with children’s literature and curriculum, and I kept notepads shaped like farm animals.
Robb teased that summer break had gone too long when he would have come home from work to a series of interactive learning centers for him to complete. He was kidding, but the sentiment stands firm: I was a teacher, through and through.
With two boys of my own—one in third grade and one in fourth—I’m on the other side of the parent-teacher relationship now. Still, I haven’t lost the sense of everything a new year brings to the lives of teachers. This annual back-to-school season evokes in me a deep need to make nametags, create bulletin boards, and sharpen pencils. There’s just something so magical to me about the endless possibilities wafting through the waxy rainbow scent of a brand new box of the Crayola 64. I love the start of a new school year. Love it.
Your child’s teacher is living, eating, and breathing thoughts of her students. She has lists upon lists—and lists of lists. She is awake past midnight completing lesson plans, field trips arrangements, parent correspondence, and updating the most current information for her page on the school’s site. She thinks of your kids when she’s eating breakfast, brushing her teeth, and taking a shower. It’s not weird; it’s the teacher brain.
She wants to do her best, love your child, and partner with your family to make this a great year. In the meantime, she needs to meet some seriously compelling and measurable standards from the district and state. She’s got a lot going, and your kid is on her list—both literally and figuratively.
With all of this in mind, here are a few ways to love your child’s teacher, to launch a strong start for a new school year....
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