Your child's teacher is an important person and will be a major part of your child's social and academic life for the next nine months. "Is she mean?" "Will I have a lot of homework?" "Can I sit next to a friend?" These questions and many more run through your child's mind as she enters her new classroom each year. Easing this yearly anxiety is important for the family, your child and the teacher to ensure the child's success in the school year.
1. Meet the Teacher
The classroom is decorated, the desks have names on them and the room is ready for action. Many schools have a time arranged to meet the teacher before the first day of school. Your child can have many of his anxieties calmed during this time. Help him locate his desk. Knowing exactly where to go on his first day of school will help him be more confident. Introduce yourself to the teacher with a warm welcome. Your child will copy your actions. If you are nervously standing around, waiting to meet the teacher, he will be also. Look her in the eye, shake her hand and tell her you are so glad your child is in her class this year. All of you will be off to a great start of a great year.
2. Bearing Gifts
Everyone appreciates a thoughtful gift. Your child's teacher has probably been working very hard during the summer to get ready for this day and have a great start to her new school year. Showing a little gratitude with a gift will let her know she is appreciated. Provide your child with a gift for his new teacher to take to school on the first day of school. Classroom books, note pads, thank you cards, flowers from the garden and homemade treats are all gifts teachers love.
3. Share Your Child
The relationship your child has with his teacher is one of the first relationships he has with an adult outside of the family. Encourage him to talk during the Meet the Teacher time. Be a detective when you walk in the room and look for a common thread between your child and his new teacher. If you see a picture of the teacher's family at a baseball game, show your baseball-loving son the picture. "Mrs. Smith likes baseball, too." Now he has something -- maybe a lot -- to say to his new teacher about his favorite team.
4. Papers, Papers, Papers
The teacher will hand out papers describing the material being covered during the school year, the field trips planned and expectations of the classroom and school. Sit down with your child and go over these. You will both be able to understand the teacher's philosophy of teaching and her goals for the year. Be excited about the activities so your child will look forward to a fun year. "You get to go to the science museum to see the dinosaurs. Let's get out your dinosaur puzzle." Showing interest in your child's school life contributes to her success.
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