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5 Ways To Be A Blessing To Your Child's Teacher

In the spirit of school starting next week, I polled some of my teacher friends to find out the best ways parents can be a blessing to their child’s teachers (and not a frustration).
Here’s what they got back to me with:
1. Gifts 
A Starbucks card goes a long way. (A massage gift card goes even longer). Teachers like to be appreciated and a tangible way to do that is with gifts! Pinterest is full of ideas, as you can imagine. Here’s a board with some of my favorites.
Also, don’t just look for the obvious opportunities to give gifts (Back-to-School, Christmas, ect….). Surprises are always nice!
“Don’t forget the “specials” team (music, art, PE, and possibly library). They are also your child’s teachers and give her grades. They are the teachers who will be the constants in her school career because she will have them year after year. They, of all teachers will get to watch her grow from a kinder baby to an independent 5th grader.” — Elementary Music Teacher
“Don’t forget high school teachers. We’ve often got 10 times the kids and less than 10% of the love.”–High School English Teacher
2. Tell Them You Appreciate Them!
This may seem like an obvious one, but it’s important enough to be said. Tell them thank-you over and over and in many different ways…. in person, in an email, in a note tucked in the homework folder, brag on them to your friends.
3. Offer Solutions Not Excuses
One of the biggest frustrations for teachers is when parents act like their children are perfect and only offer excuses for their behavior. Don’t get me wrong, every parent loves their child and should be their child’s advocate. But when the time comes, and it will, that there is a behavior issue with your child, instead of making excuses for your child’s behavior, offer suggestions and solutions.
“The most frustrating parents are the ones who think their child is perfect. I get that every parent loves their child and should be an advocate for their child. BUT we should all be realistic that every kid has faults. And looking for solutions rather than excuses is a great way for all of us to help our kids.” –5th Grade Reading Teacher
4. Respect Their Expertise
Your child’s teacher has paid a lot of money, and put in a lot of time, blood, sweat, and tears to earn their degree. You may be the expert on your child, but they are the expert in their field, and it’s ok to trust them for that. If an issue or question does surface, approach the teacher in a respectable way and ask questions, don’t just make assumptions (you know what happens when you assume things).
“In your interactions with teachers, remember that they are the experts in their field (both in subject area and in how to teach your child) with college degrees, many with graduate degrees, and all with extensive ongoing training. These teachers would not devote so much of their time, energy, money, and life to this if they didn’t truly love your child and have your child’s best interest at heart.” — Elementary Teacher
5. Respect Their Time
Your child’s teachers have a lot of kids to keep up with. Elementary teacher have anywhere from 15-30 kids, middle and high school way more than that. Also, these teachers are real people, with real families of their own to go home to at night.
“Always ask when you want to know something. Don’t get upset if there’s something you think the teacher should have told you. Remember that she’s got a whole bunch of kiddos and very little time. It’s much easier to respond to an email asking a question than it is to remember to get in touch with the parents.” –9th Grade English Teacher
Seek out ways you can help your teacher. Sign up to volunteer or offer for the teacher to send home things to cut out or put together for the class.
“I love my parent volunteers who make copies, laminate, etc. I also have parents who will surprise me with random Sonic drinks, notes, come do my recess duty so I can have an extra-long lunch and other spontaneous things.” — PreK Teacher
I loved all of the input I received and am looking forward to putting it to good use starting next week! I would love to hear other ideas you may have! Leave comments!

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