What one local teachers wants all parents sending their kids to school for the first time to know.
Two years ago I started my first year of teaching. I had all of my plans put together, my classroom decorated, my supplies neatly organized, and I was ready to welcome my first group of students into the greatest classroom experience of their young lives.
Naturally when the bell rang to dismiss them to their classrooms I had a minor panic attack.
The sudden weight of being the sole person responsible for the well-being of 20 children settled in, and I briefly considered fleeing the building never to return again. But then the first student showed up at my door in her carefully put together first-day outfit, beaming with excitement, and every ounce of fear immediately turned into pure joy that I was the one deemed responsible for her care and her 19 classmates.
So I understand what you’re feeling right now as you prepare to send your young one off to school for the first time. This is a terrifying and joyful part of raising a child: you are handing over responsibility to someone that you’re just getting to know. It’s a significant time in your family’s life, and as you begin to navigate these unfamiliar waters, I would love to offer some insight into working with your teacher this year and in the many years to follow. So…
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You don’t me very well yet, and I don’t you very well either, but I’m going to ask you to trust me–trust that I’m on your side and I want what is best for your child. I’m going to do everything I can to make school interesting and fun, but in order to do that I need you to be on my side as well. If I come to you with a concern it’s because I have observed a pattern for a while; I can promise you it’s not an off-the-cuff conversation. And vice versa, if I gloat about how well your child is doing then you can believe that they are succeeding in a positive way. The absolute best way to grow in this mutual trust is to communicate.
I promise to do everything I can to make sure you are well informed of what is going on in my classroom and how your child is doing, but in order to do so I need you to keep me informed as well. If something significant occurs at home that will most likely impact the child you are sending to school, please tell me. I want to be sensitive to your child’s needs as they change, and in order to do this I need to know what’s going on. Children are happy to share the exciting and fun adventures they go on away from school, but they aren’t as willing to share the difficult things that may be keeping them up at night.
The best way to support your child is to stay on top of what we’re doing in school and by talking to them about what is going on in the classroom. I may not communicate everything you need or want to know so please don’t be afraid to ask questions. I want your child to succeed, and I want you to feel good about sending them to spend their days with me this year. If you’re worried about something or want ideas on how to encourage them or enrich their learning at home, send me an email. More importantly, when the day comes that the homework gets too confusing or too complicated, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification.
But here’s the most important thing: soak this time in. Don’t be overwhelmed by the cute first day pictures on Pinterest or by trying to create an Instagram-worthy school lunch. You only get a few years where kids want to go to school and are excited to tell you what they learned that day. Live in this, because before you know it the days will hit when you’re dragging them out of bed to get to school on time and fighting to get more than a few sentences out of them about their day.
It is a privilege to be a teacher; it’s something that I don’t take lightly. So thank you for trusting me with the care of your precious children for the next 180 school days. I promise to do everything I can to protect them, encourage them, and teach them. It’s going to be a great school year.
Your soon-to-be-favorite teacher,
Miss Brianne Baudeán
Photo by: The Consortium