Teachers work very hard at what they do. Whether your child is an angelic, straight-A student or a rowdy, struggling C- student, or simply an average, hard-working B student (or an angelic C- student or a back-talking, swaggering straight-A student or any one of a number of permutations on this theme...), your child's teacher is working hard to teach your child. Speaking from experience here, it is so much more rewarding and motivating to teach those children whose parents are "on your side." This doesn't mean you need to agree with everything a teacher says/does, but when conflicts do arise, if you have a good relationship with that teacher, the conflict will no doubt go more smoothly and good resolution is much more likely. So how do you build a good rapport with your child's teacher? Consider some of the following ways to "make a teacher's day." Again, speaking from experience, these are some of the best gifts you can give to a hard-working teacher.
- Send an encouraging note--recognize his/her hard work, acknowledge something said or done in class that your child enjoyed, commit to praying for him/her, include a meaningful Scripture reference, whatever...
- Offer to help grade or file papers: When you offer, be specific: "I know parent-teacher conferences are coming up and you must have a lot of papers to grade (file). I can stay an extra hour to help after I drop Johnny off on Friday, so have a stack ready for me!" (say it with a smile)
- Offer to decorate a bulletin board, get field-trip information together, or some other "service": again, mention a specific time or event ("You must have a lot to do for that apple orchard field trip coming up. I can come an hour before school's out on Tuesday to help--copy permission slips, make phone calls, etc.").
- Send in something edible for no reason at all: pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, a loaf of banana bread, some cookies, etc. Don't wait for Christmas.
- Remember your child's teacher's birthday!!!!!! What a statement that makes! A card is all you need.