Going Back To School (What Teachers Want Parents to Know)

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Back to School BusKids are heading back to school across the country, so I polled a few teachers, asking them to answer the question “What would YOU want parents to know before school starts?”

Read what teachers say they want parents to know going into a new school year.

A Note for All Parents:

“Don’t forget the power of a kind word or email for any school employee. They can be few and far between sometimes and mean SO much.”

“We are stronger together. During the school year, Work WITH the teacher, not against the teacher.”

Kindergarten

“For parents sending their children to Kindergarten, here are a few things your child will need to be able to do: 

  • Able to use the restroom independently, including putting clothes back on (buttons and zippers, pull-up pants, etc)
  • Open & Close lunch (and snack) items
  • Eat Lunch in a 20-minute time frame
  • Sit for 10-15 minutes with attention
  • Use scissors
  • Recognize and write their name
  • Tie their shoes (or have Velcro!)
  • Children need to know their parent’s names and the car they drive (for pickup time)”

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Related Articles:
The Top 10 Lessons a Parent Learns when their Child Starts Kindergarten

Grades 1 – 5

“Give your child(ren) options and the opportunity to make choices (could be as simple as a backpack or color of notebook). They need to feel valued and invested in going to school.”

“Encourage a consistent daily routine that includes a set bedtime and wake-up time. Children thrive on predictability, and having a consistent routine helps them feel secure and focused.”

“Please check your child’s book bag daily and the take-home folder. So much communication is sent home that way and missed if parents are not regularly checking their child’s take-home folder.”

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Related Resource:

Back-to-School Printables for Parents and Kids {VIA ETSY INSTANT DOWNLOAD}

Middle School/Junior High

Middle school is a transitional phase that comes with unique challenges and opportunities for growth. Here are some tips (directly from teachers) for parents of middle school/junior high students.
“It’s all about knowing when it is appropriate to use their electronics if they bring them to school. Go over the school’s phone/AirPod policy with your child so everyone knows expectations upfront. (Phones kept in lockers, no AirPods during class, no TikToks etc)
  • Chargers! Chargers! Chargers! Label them with colored tape.
  • Make sure your child prioritizes charging their iPad/Chromebook over their phone.
  • Please don’t call or text your child during school hours.”

“Middle school often brings increased academic responsibilities and multiple subjects to juggle. Help your child develop strong organizational skills by providing tools like planners, calendars, or digital apps to keep track of assignments, projects, and extracurricular activities. Encouraging these skills early on will empower your child to navigate a more complex academic workload.”

“Middle school is a critical time for fostering independence and personal responsibility. Encourage your child to take ownership of their studies, including preparing for classes, completing assignments, and seeking help when needed. Guide them to communicate directly with teachers to clarify doubts or discuss concerns. By allowing them to handle responsibilities, you’re helping them develop crucial life skills and a sense of accountability.”

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Related Articles:
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High School

“Remind kids that their freshmen year sets the tone for the rest of their high school career. Attendance is extremely important and one of the key factors for college and career readiness. Don’t let your child miss school unless it’s absolutely necessary!” 

“I would be eternally grateful if parents installed screen time limits on their kid’s phones. It would solve SO many issues in one fell swoop. They are not mature enough to know they cannot multitask and think they are actually listening while scrolling. It causes so many arguments, fights, and distractions. If your child has a cellular Apple Watch, have them leave their phones at home.” 

“I am an advocate and supporter for students getting involved in their school and community. There is something for every student at our school, whether it be a club, sport, art, music, theater, volunteering, you name it. The opportunities are there. Every student has interests and talents – find what you enjoy doing and do it! This is where connections are made. With these connections come so many benefits such as meeting new friends, building confidence and self-esteem, reduced screen time, and a sense of belonging.”

Special Education

“I know so many parents, unfortunately, have to fight the system to get what their child needs, but when good things happen, please give some affirmation. I want my parents to know I’m working with them in their child’s educational goals and advocacy. We’re a team. I need parental collaboration & flexibility & understanding. Each child is amazing and has a unique growth plan. I’m going to fight with you.”

“Familiarize yourself with your child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 plan, understanding the accommodations, modifications, and goals outlined in the document. If you believe adjustments are needed or if your child’s needs have changed, communicate openly with the school’s special education team to ensure that their plan remains effective.”

All Grades & Misc

“For grades that use a padlocked locker – buy a cheap one for them to practice on.”

“Label clothes you don’t want to get lost!! I only teach 6th grade and I’ll have sweatshirts in my room. It belongs to one of them! I’ll hold it up every day and ask who it belongs to. They don’t know!”

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A Special Thanks to all of the teachers who shared their insights and tips that are included in the above post.  

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