You and your child’s teacher share something in common: both of you want to see your child succeed.
As parties with a vested interest in your child’s education, how can you both work together to make your child’s success a reality? After all, you should be allies in the effort!
Have you considered being a teacher’s helper? We believe every parent can and should be one. Let’s talk about why.
Every parent should be a teacher’s helper.
By “teacher’s helper,” we mean a parent that’s involved in a support role so that the teacher can better serve your child. Your point of view and influence as a parent is invaluable.
According to teachers.com, an educator spends about six hours a day on classroom instruction. Their perspective will be unique from yours as they observe your child engaging in a school setting. You both have a vital part to play.
Why teachers need your help
Not to take away from the valuable influence of a teacher, but at the end of the day—whether they’re conscious of it or not—you matter more to your child.
Ariel Kalil, Director of the Center for Human Potential and Public Policy and Co-Director of the Behavioral Insights and Parenting Lab at the University of Chicago, described parents as the “the single greatest influence on children.”
According to the Association for Psychological Science, the bond between a child and parent is formed from the very beginning of the child’s life in the womb. As a parent, you’re key in selecting and creating your child’s home environment. You influence their outlook on life during their most formative years.
How to help your child’s teacher
As shown above, a parent’s influence on the life of a child is profound. How can you leverage your influence in your child’s life to contribute to his or her education? Here are 5 ways you can help your child’s teacher:
1. Create a routine at home.
Children thrive on routine. Creating a healthy routine at home for your child provides stability and security, so they can be at ease wherever they go. Even if difficulties come your child’s way at school, knowing that some sense of normalcy is awaiting them at home will help their mental health.
2. Communicate with your child’s teacher.
As a parent, you should consider teaming up with your child’s teacher.
Has there been a death in the family? Is there a separation transpiring? Was your child diagnosed with a learning disability? Giving teachers a heads up will help them better serve your child. The seemingly-aloof child may be a grieving child. Communication will help your teacher to know what’s up and how to proceed moving forward.
Your child’s teachers might have insight to share with you as well. Reach out to them and ask about your child’s learning, struggles, and socialization with classmates.
3. Pack nutritious food for your child.
Another way you can help the teacher is by packing nutritious food for your child.
Nutritious food can help your child’s concentration. According to Healthfully.com, brain development thrives on good nutrition. Did you know the human brain relies on fatty acids, proteins and amino acids, vitamin B-12, and other vitamins for good health?
Talk to a nutritionist for the best input on ensuring optimum brain health for your child. Ensuring that your child is on a balanced diet is rewarding for the child and for those invested in their education.
4. Foster curiosity.
Who says learning is just for school time? At home, you can foster curiosity and help your child develop an appreciation for learning. Read to your children, and provide them with books for their own reading adventures. (A weekly visit to the library could be just what your family needs!) Allow conversations about world news to springboard into a brief lesson on geography, other cultures, or values important to your family
If your child asks how something works, don’t miss that opportunity! Take a few extra moments to explain or show them how to find the answer
5. Spend time with your child.
Life is busy and stress can squash your energy levels. However, spending quality time with your child is an investment you won’t regret. Knowing they are loved and known aids in their development and mental health.
Be creative. There are many ways to connect with your child. Ask them about their day, their hopes, dreams, and worries. Dinner time is an invaluable opportunity to foster connectivity.
Create routines. Read to your kids. Go on walks.
The sky’s the limit when it comes to spending time with your child.
Little changes provide big pay-offs.
Whether it’s instituting a curfew or cultivating a dinnertime routine, small adjustments at home can lead to big pay-offs for your child’s educational success. As you make changes, don’t forget that it takes at least 30 days to form a new habit. Your child will not change overnight, but your attentive parenting will provide them with a strong foundation to face whatever life throws at them.
Here’s to parents helping teachers!
Are you concerned about the direction of your local school system? The Noah Webster Educational Foundation seeks to help parents bring solutions and improvements to their schools. We hope you’ll take the time to learn more and help make the change we’re all looking for. Learn more today.