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Get To Know Your Kid's Teachers

By definition, a teacher is one who teaches. Ya .. so? Let's look at what it means to teach. The dictionary defines the verb teach as:

  • To impart, provide or instruct knowledge or skill
  • To condition to a certain action or frame of mind
  • To cause to learn by example or experience
  • To advocate or preach
  • To carry on instruction on a regular basis
 That last one, to carry on instruction on a regular basis, is a biggie…on a regular basis. On average teachers will spend 30 hours a week with your elementary age child. In contrast, let's look at the amount of time you will spend, with your child during an average school week. Between getting up, dressed, fed and teeth brushed, on average, a parent will spend 10 minutes actually with the child.

Then there's after school - it's probably at least 5:00 pm before you really spend time with your child, either due to your schedule or your child's. (Note: Seeing your child and spending time with – are not synonymous). Then maybe you spend some time together preparing and eating dinner. After school and after work you may have taken junior to practice or the store, or there was more homework.

If your child is like most, a bath or shower is probably needed. After that, perhaps a bedtime snack, a little TV and then it's time to start the bedtime routine. It's safe to say, on average, parents will spend less than eight (8) hours a week interacting with their elementary age child. Now do you see why it is vital to get to know your kid's teachers?

Most schools have an Open House prior to the first day of school or soon after. This gives the parent and child a chance to meet the teacher and vice versa. Make every effort to attend this Open House. If you have a schedule conflict you cannot rearrange, make an appointment before or after school to meet your child's teacher. It may only take a quick 10 minute visit initially, but don't you want to know who will be imparting, providing and instructing knowledge and skills to your child?

Teachers will almost always provide phone numbers and emails where they can be reached. Many of them will give you their home number. Use this contact information! Many parents think, "Oh I don't want to bother the teacher by calling him/her." Bother? Staying informed about what is happening with your child thirty hours each week should by no means be considered "bothering the teacher." Parents have a duty to know what is going on. This way, not only will you find out about problems when they first develop, but show teachers that you are their partners in helping your child succeed.



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