We get a lot of tchotchkes and there are enough candies, cookies, and popcorn in the Teachers’ Lounge to feed a small country. But we do like to know that you and your kids like us, and appreciate what we do. So here are some gift ideas that we can all agree on.
Our school is installing a Parent-Teacher Hotline, a telephone system that allows teachers to record messages to their parents, and parents can call in, enter the classroom I.D. number, and hear the teacher’s message regarding homework, upcoming activities, permission slips that need to be returned, etc. We’ll be using ours to include a Home Activity for the Week, a simple learning activity designed to involve parents in the learning/teaching process.
Reaching parents is a major frustration for many teachers; most parents work and can’t be readily contacted at their place of employment. Or in some cases, a telephone doesn’t even exist in the home. We can’t make a phone appear out of thin air, but here are a few suggestions for tracking down the elusive parent.
Mapping out a family tree can be a great opportunity for younger children to learn more about “where they come from.” Often, seeing their immediate family drawn out on paper will help them to remember relatives better and understand those relationships of how those relatives are, well, related!
Learning can and should take place in the home; the problem is how to implement it. You can jump-start the process once a week by sending home a “Work-at-Home” worksheet with each student giving both the student and the parent a job to do.
The first step in involving parents in the education process is to remember they are there. We often get focused on our job and forget that parents could be a valuable time-saving resource. Changing your perspective means brainstorming a way to have them help.
Create “Snuggle Pack” bags filled with books and some extras to encourage at-home reading.