Monday, September 15, 2014

Back to School Night (Don't Be That Parent, AGAIN)

I write this for my non-teaching friends (and now that I experienced back to school night from the other side of the desk for a few years, as a reminder for my self).

I give you my tips for a successful back to school night.


1) DO NOT consider the teacher's chair as an option if the student chairs are filling up, or if it is the younger grades, if they are too small. (Yes, parents have selected my chair as an option even when it is behind my desk, even before every seat is filled).  Consider going any where behind the teacher's desk as entering their second home.  And you wouldn't want anyone breaking into your home (or second home if you can afford one).

2) DO NOT expect to get any questions answered.  As a teacher, we are told from our first few years to filibuster the allotted time.  Questions may put you on the defensive because you never know what classroom practice you will have to defend.

When I am feeling daring, I will entertain a question or two (Especially if I conquer the first one well)

If you have a question for the teacher based on something they said, email him/her.

3) DO NOT talk with your friend while the teacher is talking, it is just as wrong as it was when you were a student.  Save the talks for the hallways.

The CAN DO's

1) LISTEN to the teacher who will be investing their time in your child for the next year.

2) LOOK around the classroom.  Most teachers labor for hours transforming their classroom into a comfortable place for your child.

3) SELECT one idea or thought the teacher says (or something you see in the classroom) as a conversation starter with your child when you go home.

4) IMAGINE your child sitting in that teacher's class. It will allow you insight into your child's day and you will be better able to assist them.

It took me a lot longer than I planned to be able to experience my first back to school night as a parent (my wife and I did not have our first child until year 11 of our marriage and my 16th year as a teacher).

I do not take Back to School Nigh lightly, not as a parent, or as a teacher.

As a teacher, 
I try to make it as memorable as I hope their child will find my class.

As a parent, 
it is a blast to experience, in a very small way, my child's school day.

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