….becoming the teacher's best friend!

Update Your Relationship Status on Facebook But Don’t Forget the Teacher.

With so many families going through dynamic changes every year, it is hard to keep tabs with who is at which stage of a separation, divorce or even a career change. But there’s one person that can usually tell that something has changed at your home, though they’ve never been there and you’ve never talked to them about your personal life. That would be your kid’s teacher. Kids have such amazing coping mechanisms, yet are so fragile when it comes to change. A subtle tiff at the breakfast table can ruin their entire day. Yet the announcement of parents divorcing can send them to school in denial and under the guise of business-as-usual.

inthemiddleTeachers don’t need to know the details or even why or who or how. But a good parent will give the teacher a heads up if they anticipate major changes at home. Without calling an all-parties-involved conference, subtly ask the teacher if you can speak privately about some recent changes at home. In the case of a divorce or separation, both parents should initiate the conversation. In the case of a serious illness or death in the family, remember to ask for support and empathy around the situation. Offer to follow-up and stay in communication with the teacher about if and how this has changed your child’s school day. In the end, you may find little judgement passed, but a ton of empathy and support for you and your kid.

That Parent: School year just started and she forgets to mention that the family ise all packed up and ready to move as soon as the house sells. Their child’s room is “barely there” with all books, clothing and toys in boxes. When the house sells, she forgoes the opportunity to tell the teacher and instead mentions it weeks later when updating contact information. She didn’t make the link between behavior issues and dropping grades during this transition.

Favorite Parent: Knows that moving is a major life change for young kids. The stress and time spent on such an ordeal goes noticed by kids and this heightened anxiety can play out at school. The Favorite Parent sends a quick note to the teacher indicating that they are in the process of selling the house, though it’s not a move that would cause their student to change schools. She tells the teacher that they are keeping essentials unpacked so that her child has the materials to feel safe and comfortable at home and the ability to do schoolwork without having to sift through boxes. Once the move is under way, she updates the teacher, letting her know that it will be a long, tiring weekend and that her chid is excited to get a new bedroom and new neighborhood friends. This way, the teacher can capitalize on the positives of this change and be empathetic to the natural stresses created when moving during the school year.


Filed under: asking for help, parenting advice, , , , , , ,

3 Responses

  1. meanteacher says:

    SO true, I love it!!! Knowing what is going on at home is the BIGGEST chunk of information that I crave as a teacher. Well said!!!

  2. tiEkrhigree says:

    I highly enjoyed reading this blogpost, keep up writing such interesting stuff!!

  3. meanteacher says:

    Kelly, you’re right this is a really tricky situation. At my Back to School Night I always tell parents that I like to be told what is going on at home because it helps me help them support our student. BUT the flip side of that is there are some teaches WHO REALLY DO NOT WANT TO KNOW that sort of stuff, granted they are teachers who are in the profession for the paycheck. I’m a “more is better” type of person… I like to have all the details so I can make a well informed decision!

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