School is in full swing! Class routines have been established, teachers have figured out names, and the learning has begun.
Your child’s teacher puts so much time, energy, effort and (their own) money into the school year. How about helping him/her out this year? Some teachers will ask for help sure, but lots won’t. It’s little things, like those I am listing, that can make all the difference.
So, from me (a teacher) to all of you (wonderful parents!)… here are 10 easy ways you can help your teacher!
- Sharpen Pencils: This seems like an odd and easy task, because it is. But, it’s also time consuming. Time your teacher could spend on something else. Offer to show up 10 minutes before pick up, grab all the dull pencils and take them to the copy room and sharpen them. Or, take them home of you have a great sharpener there! Just send them in your kiddos backpack the next day. It’s a small task that is a big deal!
- Cut Patterns: If your child is in a primary grade, odds are your teacher spends countless hours after school tracing and cutting patterns for various projects and activities. Offer to take some home and do it for her. It’s something you can do while watching TV.
- Library: Be the Library Mom. Ask you teacher for a list at the beginning of each month/theme/unit, of book titles, authors, or subjects she might want to have for class. Take that list and spend an afternoon at the library with your kids picking up those books for your teacher. At the end of the unit/month return the books and check out the new ones. * this was one of my MOST helpful volunteers when I was teaching! It is a HUGE help!
- Book Orders: Those book order forms that come home every month are great, right? Did you know they don’t come like that? All nice and organized, probably separated and stapled. Nope. Each grade level comes in a big book, that your teacher has to separate, collate, and staple. Sometimes there are 3-5 book orders per class. Multiply that by 30 kids and that’s a lot of time spent putting together book orders. Offer to take that off her hands. It’s a once a month job that you can do while watching your newest Netflix obsession.
- Copies: I guarantee your teacher spends his/her time before/after school and lunch period making copies. Sometimes that’s just time spent waiting in line to get to the copy machine, (because all the teachers are trying to do it at the same time!) only to find out it’s out of toner! Believe me, there is a mad rush for that copy machine in the morning. However, a parent volunteer could do it during class time. Volunteer to come in even just once a week and do a bulk of the copies for her. She will thank you I promise!!
- Dust: Dust? Don’t schools have people who come in and clean? Yes, schools have custodians who empty trash cans and clean bathrooms (though not all even do that.) But, classroom get dusty. You know who dusts those rooms? Your teacher does. Offer to come in even just once a month or so and dust those bookshelves for her!
- Organize the Classroom Library: Especially in Primary grades, teachers often have their own library. It may be alphabetical, or organized by genre, author, or theme. However, odds are those kiddos haven’t always put the books back where they belong. Off to come in and organize it! While you are at it, tape up the spines of those books that are being read so much (a good thing!) that they have loose pages or are losing their covers.
- Bulletin Boards: I’m going to guess that your teacher changes the bulletin boards in the class for themes, holidays, and/or subjects. There are also probably 2-3 bulletin boards in the classroom, and sometimes one outside the room in the hallway. That’s quite a bit of butcher paper and boarder changing. Offer to help put up and switch out those bulletin boards for you teacher. I kissed the feet of the parents that did this for me! (Ok, not really, but I so appreciated it!)
- Have him/her fill out this form.
- Bring them a treat(see #9). Something as simple as surprising her with her favorite Starbucks drink at drop off or a Diet Coke at pickup means so much! Once in a while, send your kid in with a bag of your teachers favorite snacks. That could help her get through an afternoon of staff meetings. These little treats are easy for you, and go a long way in letting your teachers know they are appreciated!
As teachers, we understand not everyone has the availability, or desire, to help in the classroom. But, there is always something you can do from home! Just ask. If you can come in to the class, maybe she can use someone to review sight words with kids, or read one on one. Or maybe you’d rather help type out and print labels or sights words from home.
Just ask and offer your time. It means so much.
With the holiday’s coming up consider priting out Keala’s Teacher Questionnaire HERE! Find out what your teacher’s favorite things are.