A Letter From Your Child's New Teacher

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 On behalf of the teacher who will be teaching your child this upcoming school year, I decided to share a few helpful hints teachers would want you to practice before we meet your little darlings. 

Believe it or not but you, yes YOU are your child's first teacher. Imagine another career title to add to your resume.

Some of these tidbits of advice may seem like common sense but knowing what to do and actually doing it is two different things.

As a teacher I implore you to Begin With The End In Mind. Beginning your school year purposefully could just determine the success of the next ten months.

How To Prepare For School

1. Wake your child and get them out of bed this week. 

courtesy of bluejeremiah.wordpress.com

All of us have allowed our children to sleep in. You do not want your child sleeping in class. The first time it may be cute, but your child's teacher will not be amused if it continues to happen. We have a lot of activities planned for our students. We want all of them to be awake. Besides, a sleepy child can distract from a teacher being able to focus on other students who went to bed on time 
and woke up ready to learn.

2. Practice putting on uniform.

Yes. Practice getting dressed. Many students have to get changed for P.E. or swimming at school. You would be surprised how many students do not know how to button a shirt correctly, how to put on socks etc. 

3. Practice packing their bags.

More important than getting dressed is learning how to pack all of their belongings in a bag after getting changed at school. The Lost and Found Department at all schools are filled with items students have left behind haphazardly. If you are like me, I work hard to buy sweaters, water bottles and lunch bags. 

4. Practice writing.

My daughter is going into K- 4. She knows her letters. Earlier this year when I called a letter she would write them. Yesterday we were making a card, I asked her to write a letter d. "I don't remember how to write a 'd'!" Young students need to practice writing the alphabet. Older students need to practice writing a sentence. Old students just need to write. EVERYONE needs to know how to write their name neatly. Here are a few things every student can practice writing.

  • Name
  • Days of the Week
  • Months of the Year
  • Number Words
  • The date
Have your child write these items. Students in Grade Three or higher should also know how to spell all of these words as well.

5. Practice Timed Activities

The lazy days of summer are over. It will soon be time to complete tasks during a set period of time. Many students have difficulties with getting their work done. To assist with this, start timing your child for everything you ask them to do. "You have three minutes to brush your teeth. You have one minute to get dressed." Or you can count as your child does something.  "I am going to countdown from 50 for you to put on your pajamas. 50, 49, 48..." "Can you put all of these toys away before I count to 20? 1,2,3,...." This simple technique is an easy way to get kids moving. 

One of the hardest tasks a teacher has to master is getting a class of twenty-five or more children to finish an activity at generally the same time so she/he can move onto the next task.

6. Manners, manners, manners!

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This week freshen up on all forms of good manners. Teachers love good manners. "Good morning, pardon me, excuse me, how are you, fine thank you, thank you, no thank you!" Eat with utensils, use a napkin." We all know the elements of good manners but we forget to instill them in our children...including me. Let's be intentional in how we train our children to interact with others especially adults!

Believe me I can go on and on but that is enough homework for today. If you are interested in more or if you have a teacher/school related question answered or would like to discuss, feel free to email. I will gladly share a teacher point of view.

Until I teach again,


Anonymous said...

I missed this post. Good stuff Tiffany!!!! It's so hard to get one of my daughters moving. We've been doing this for a while now and she still takes her time to do everything despite the urgency in my voice * sigh.

Her teacher says she very smart but sometimes day dreams in class and takes her sweet time to do whatever she's doing. In the mornings I'm running around like a chicken with the head cut off scrambling to to be out of the house by 7:15... My daughter on the other hand sits there asking me questions about the weather and such *blank stare.* I have to try the countdown method with this one (starting tonight!). I worry about her because I know that as she gets older teachers will not tolerate this. I keep giving her the speech about becoming a big a girl. She has to be able to complete tasks in the time allowed and be more responsible.

I'm really trying to get her to be responsible. She hates packing her bag and many mornings as we are walking out of the front door I realize that this chick is walking to the car swinging both her hands!!! No bags etc. I'm looking at her like sweetie where are you going!?!?!?! There has been times when I get to the end of my corner and turn back around for something she probably forgot despite my instance on prepping. Many days I get to work and look in the backseat just before I hop out only to find her lunch box, a homework book or something!!! :S

Her sister is the total opposite and I don't want to use comparisons as motivation to get her moving. I know that sometimes this approach can backfire and have a negative affect on the child. I also don't want to baby her and do everything for her every step of the way either. She's 8 and very capable. If there's a new Disney movie coming out she remembers that and nags to go home on time to catch it. If there's a new tablet or gadget she masters that in about 5 minutes. She can work a computer, remote or any electronic device better than 95% of adults. Once I sit down and hover over her to complete her homework it's fine. How do I get her to take that same approach with school and just being more responsible in general? The suggestions in this post were really good. Any more ideas?

MWMs said...

Hi there,

I apologize for the delay in my response. Here are my suggestions.

1. Get a kitchen timer. Set a time for tasks.

It sounds as if your daughter will do well with rewards. Some may call this bribery but I am being bribed to perform and my reward as an adult is my paycheck so why can't kids be rewarded.

2. There is a store in Palmdale. It is called Teacher Mart. If you can go there and buy some stickers and ask for a behavior chart. Here is the premise. Certain behaviors receive stickers. After a certain amount of stickers, there is a reward.

Example, every time you pack your bag you get a sticker. After ten stickers you get..... fill in the blank. (Make sure it is a reward your daughter wants and you can fulfill. You have to keep your word so she keeps hers.)

Choose three to five behaviors you want to improve. Not too many to overwhelm and not too little where it takes forever to receive a reward.

Your daughter has to feel success in order for this to be effective.

Will your daughter get addicted to rewards. Yes! That is when you increase the difficulty to get stickers just a little.

See how this works and let me know.

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