I have been where you are many times before.
I have been excited on the first day to meet my class and get to know them better. I have enjoyed the relaxation of the first few days – the PSHE sessions – talking about how the school works, the excitement of upcoming topics, trips and fun things we are going to get up to.
For over 10 years I was you!
But as a parent there are things that I’d like you to know. Things that I have discovered since being a parent, and a parent of two children with educational needs, that means I look at teaching with new eyes. So, please know that I understand where you are coming from and the stresses and strains you are going through, but please also know that these things are important!
1. I know that you would prefer us parents to wait outside and send our children running into your classroom without a care in the world. You reassure us that they will be fine when we leave. Rationally we know that – but we are not feeling rational! Please realise that these little people mean the world to us and we aren’t quite ready to cut the apron strings. When they sob, cling to us or just look at us with ‘those’ eyes, it breaks our heart – and our job is to fix it, reassure them and give them all the love they need. So if we need to pop in to the classroom with them to make sure they are settled, or feel the need to call the school to check they are OK, please be understanding! It won’t last for long, and we will feel so much better knowing our little people are happy in your class!
2. If there are any problems, any problems at all, please do let us know. Our children do talk to us, and we will find out if they have been put in ‘timeout’ for pushing or throwing. We know they aren’t angels, and we really do want to support you in managing behaviour in the class. But we can’t help you if you don’t let us know.
3. Please don’t label our children from day 1! My child isn’t the ‘naughty’ one or the ‘quiet’ one or the ‘typical’ boy. They are individual and unique. They are learning to manage social situations, learning to cope with so many other children and learning how to share. They don’t mean to be ‘naughty’ or ‘quiet’, they are just learning, so please be patient with them and get to know them rather than assuming what they are like!
4. If you need to communicate with us about anything, please do make it personal. There is nothing worse than looking in a book bag to find a note from you or the TA about the type of snack we have sent in, or questions about why homework wasn’t completed. Talk to us! We are people too and will be happy to help if there is anything we can do, but if you send us notes, we are much less likely to want to help!
5. Most of all, please recognise that this is a hard time for us. For some of us this is the first time we have dealt with a school since we were in school. Schools can be a confusing place for parents, please don’t assume that we know how everything works! We will learn quickly, but to make things go smoothly, please do take the time to explain to us how the reading scheme works, what phonics means and how we can help our child at home. We’d really appreciate it!
The parents of the children in your class!