Well mamas, it’s about that time of year again. The sun is almost setting on summer, and we’re preparing to pack our kids up to send them back to school.
It’s a super bittersweet and exciting time — no one likes to say goodbye to the freedom of summer, but the start of the school year brings so many learning opportunities and chances to grow. And whether this is your 18th BTS season or your first, embarking on a new year brings so many questions about what’s in store. Are there things we should be doing when we send our kids back to school that we simply don’t realize we’re neglecting?
We asked real-life teachers to weigh in with advice, insight and tips on things for parents to keep in mind when starting the new year. And if anybody knows what’s up — it’s our educators.
1. Realize your kids are in good hands
“Don’t worry and stress over sending your little ones to school (I know as a mom we have that guilt over not being with them and having others caring for our children). We teachers love them like our own and can’t wait to see them in August! Something I ask myself daily while teaching is, ‘How would I want Lila’s (my daughter’s) teachers to treat her?'” — Erin W.
2. Honor the supply list — there’s more to it than meets the eye
“Send the supplies with your children that the teachers ask for instead of complaining about it. When students don’t have the supplies they need, it’s very hard for them. And I am talking basics: notebooks, glue, crayons, etc.” — LeAnne T.
3. Teach your kids to ask for what they need
“For parents of students in high school, I wish they would encourage their kids to advocate for themselves. An example of this might be students asking their teachers when clarity is needed.” — Cami P.
4. Read, read, read
“Have kids read during the break! It’s such an important skill that can’t be denied for the summer months.” — Brianne P.
5. Let your children learn from their mistakes (and successes)
“I would encourage parents to let their kids solve their own problems… and encourage parents to let their kids fail at some things, too.” — Robert E.
6. Remember that it’s a new school year and that brings some change
“Maintain a bit of a schedule during the summer months because it will be easier on everyone involved this August. But, of course, also let kids enjoy a summer break. When heading back into the classroom, remember the teacher, the rules and the expectations can change drastically from year to year. Trust that your child’s teacher knows how to teach. They love their job, love your child and, regardless of your child’s opinion, they need your support to be successful. And, lastly, children must learn to problem solve. Educators want to see a student progress and learn; I haven’t met one yet who is interested in assignments completed by parents.” — Melissa C.
7. Reinforce to your child that their teacher is your teammate
“Let your child know that you will be a partner with his or her teacher — that you both want the best for him or her, and then make sure he or she sees (and hears!) you working together.” — Kathleen G.
Originally published August 2016. Updated July 2017.