Everyone has heard that it takes a village to raise a child, but I can’t think of anywhere else where this old saying plays itself out quite as well as in the classroom. Teachers can mean so much to the students they spend time with. They instruct, they inspire—they give their kids a growing understanding of the world around them in a supportive environment.
It’s no surprise that people will often cite a former teacher as the most influential or inspirational person they knew growing up.
As you and your little ones gear up for the first day of school, there are several ways to set the expectation for a fun and productive year. Here’s a list of ideas for your back-to-school prep straight from the people who know best—teachers!
- Stock up on supplies. Many teachers send home lists of supplies on the first day of school, but you can beat the shopping rush by stocking up on essentials like notebooks, paper, pencils, a grade-appropriate calculator and other supplies. Help ease your little ones’ stress by having these things on hand, and you’ll give them a leg up on their first homework assignment.
- Set their sleeping schedule. Waking up early isn’t fun for anyone, but you can help ease your kids back into it by setting a new sleeping schedule now. Wake your kids up at the time they will be expected to wake up for school, and then take them somewhere fun—to the park, the beach, the mall or even on a walk around the neighborhood. Just make sure your kids are awake and ready by the time they will need to leave for school.
- Have a heart-to-heart. Ask your kids how they feel about the start of the new year. Find out if they are feeling anxious about anything, and then brainstorm ideas together for how they can ease that tension, from finding a buddy to eat lunch with to explaining to the teacher that they need extra help with math problems. Then be sure to follow through with a discussion of how things went after the first day of school.
- Introduce yourself to teachers. Teacher cards and stationery make great back-to-school gifts, but you can also volunteer in the classroom, stop by with muffins for everyone or introduce yourself at a back to school event. It’s important to stay active in your child’s education to help do your part in encouraging them to succeed.