“You don’t care about my child.”
For a teacher, these words are devastating when they come from a parent. For Regena Landry, they were heartbreaking. A sixth grade science teacher for nine years, she had worked for most of the semester to help an 11-year-old girl overcome a difficult adjustment to middle school. “I had poured my heart and soul into loving this child and helping her adjust,” says Landry. “It literally broke my heart and made me cry. We are teachers because we love kids.” By the end of the meeting, she and the parent reached an understanding, but the words still stung.
Each school year, there’s at least one thing both parents and teachers have in common. We love these children God ordains to put in our lives and we want the best for them. But sometimes figuring out how to work together can be a challenge. What’s the best way to handle classroom situations in a godly way?
- Show love.
Our children learn best by example. What we say and how we say it when it comes to their teachers is noticed. Watch your words when you find yourself aggravated. “Like any relationship we have, we need to be respectful and look at teachers with love,” says Kim Mills, a mom of three. She tries to trust the teacher has her child’s best interests at heart. Pray for your child’s teachers and encourage your child to pray for his teachers also.
- Celebrate with joy.
Reinforce your child’s classroom success by celebrating at home when he’s done well. Share that joy with your child’s teacher. Thank them with encouraging notes or emails. “Teachers hear from parents who are upset freely, but an encouraging word can put a smile on a teacher’s face at the end of a long day,” says Davis Dewey, who has served at the elementary school level for 24 years.
- Be patient.
Don’t get upset if a teacher doesn’t call you back or answer an email right away. Most teachers have more things to do and more students in their charge than they have time for in a day. Their students often come with a wide range of needs and requirements, and teachers often bring their work home with them at night and on weekends. A little patience goes a long way.
- Share kindness.
Teachers always need volunteers to make copies, help with art lessons, or bring snacks. Amy Lancaster is a mom of an 11-year-old son. Each year she lets her son’s teachers know she’s willing to help. Once, a teacher asked her to vacuum her classroom once a week. “I thought it was a weird request at first, but then I realized how happy it made her in the middle of the week to have a clean rug!” says Lancaster.
- Teach goodness.
“Christian parents raise their children with strong morals and values,” says Landry. “We teach our kids to treat others with authority and respect and toalways do their best. If you come into the classroom willing to do the right thing, you’re already ahead of the game.”
- Speak gently.
Communication is key when it comes to solving issues or problems that come up with your child. Ask questions before assuming, and remember that how you communicate something is even more important sometimes than what you’re communicating. When concerns or disappointments are shared in a way that doesn’t devalue or demean the teacher personally, you’re much more likely to get the response you’re looking for.
From: www.ParentLifeMagazine.org. August 2013.
The above article, “6 Ways to Encourage Teachers” was written by Sara Horn. The article was excerpted from www.ParentLifeMagazine.org.
The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.
This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”