5 ways parents can help with the classroom community
Talk to the kiddos
Check in and see how things are going at school. Ask questions like, “Who did you play with today?” and “Were you kind today? How?” Bring the focus on interactions with peers and teachers, along with the activities they enjoyed.
Communicate with the teacher
Be consistent in reading teacher communication. If there are questions or concerns, ask the teacher directly as they crop up. Share important information that might affect a child’s day (loss of a pet, nightmare the night before, etc.).
Meet the other families
Of course this isn’t always possible! But if it is, go for it! Chat with the other parents during special events or while picking the kids up from school. Kids watch us and learn so much in the process – they’ll make observations as they see/hear their parents talking to other parents. Talk about making it feel like a community!
Consider other students
Every child is an individual! Some children will be best buds right from the start, others will gradually form friendships, and there may also be kids that don’t always get along. That’s okay – I don’t think kids have to be friends with everyone, but they do need to be respectful and considerate of others. Parents can help with this so much! If a birthday party is planned, but the birthday boy only wants a few friends to come – please don’t send the invites in for the teacher or child to distribute. Same with Valentine’s Day cards or anything along those lines. No matter how circumspectly it’s done, someone finds out. Just contact the other kids’ parents outside of school. That way, the birthday boy is happy and there’s no unnecessary angst in the classroom.
As I mentioned above, we want parents to be involved. However, we understand how life is, and don’t want parents to feel pressured. Look at what can be done and offer to help if it’s possible. That may mean helping with snacks, coming in to read each month, or overseeing an art or science project – really, it could be anything. Get involved as much as you want to, but don’t feel badly if it’s just not in the cards!