Monday, July 20, 2009

Meet the Teacher Advice

We are coming up on Back to School time here in the next few weeks. I wanted to offer one piece of advice for when you go meet your child's teacher.

Remember the focus of the Meet the Teacher event. Focus on meeting your child's teacher. This is a time for your child. Focus on seeing what old friends are in their class. Take a look around the classroom and stir up your child's interest for the year to come. Notice class pets, the library and other items which may spark enthusiasm in your young one.

Gifted children tend to feel anxiety in new classroom situations- particularly if they had a really good teacher, or a really bad teacher, last year. This is your time to start building a new foundation for a successful year of learning. Now is a wonderful time to start a bond between the teacher and your son or daughter.

This is not a time for you as a parent. Try to avoid grilling the teacher on their credentials, background and experience. This information will come soon enough in welcome letters and at curriculum night. If your school does not have those events, make an appointment to talk to the teacher.

Many parents use this time to hold impromptu initial parent-teacher conferences. This is awkward at best and detrimental at worst. The teacher is trying to meet all the students and parents as well as maximize this time to set children at ease for the first day. By monopolizing her time, you take her away from that important task. In addition, your child, other parents and other children are listening as you list all of your concerns for your child's success. This can set your child off on the wrong foot with both the teacher and the other parents.

I hope this helps you enjoy your time meeting your new teacher- who knows, some of you may even see me when you walk in the door!

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