At my last school, I looped with my students for all three years of middle school. As a result, I got to know my students and their families well, and many are relationships I still treasure.
If you’ve ever read my writing about parents before, I probably sound like a broken record, but I genuinely loved working with families when I was a teacher. Nearly all of them were kind, cooperative, and understanding. They were grateful that I created publishing opportunities for their kids and helped them choose meaningful books to read. They went out of their way to celebrate me and my personal milestones. And they made me laugh with English teacher memes, funny family stories, and quotes from their child that they’d send to me.
Unfortunately, a very small number of unsupportive parents—all in the same year—were enough to make me fall out of love with teaching. But they don’t deserve the spotlight—the good ones do. Here are a few things the best parents I knew all had in common.
They let teachers know that they support them.
A guaranteed way to make a teacher’s day is to send a quick email or note about how much they mean to you or letting them know you support them. In the past few years when teaching has been harder than ever, these little acts of kindness carry even more importance.
They refrain from disparaging teachers.
No one is going to love every single one of their child’s teachers. But trust us, we know which parents spend their free time bashing teachers at home and on social media. Screenshots travel fast, and kids are quick to parrot words and attitudes about teachers that they hear at home.
They vote for candidates who support teachers and education.
Or at the very least, they don’t broadcast their support for anti-teacher school board members and government officials.
They act as our teammates.
Our jobs are so much easier when parents support us as teammates in the pursuit of what’s best for the child. Sometimes that’s helping establish firmer phone boundaries at night so the child isn’t falling asleep during class. Sometimes it’s bringing a box of tissues during cold and flu season if they’re able. (Can teammates ask questions or suggest other options? Of course!)
Supporting teachers doesn’t have to mean a huge donation, a lengthy time commitment, or other things that aren’t feasible for most families. Sometimes—actually, a lot of times—it’s the simple things.
What are other easy ways parents can support teachers? Let us know in the comments.
Looking for more articles like this? Be sure to subscribe to our newsletters!