The 2020/21 school year was tumultuous, and 2021/22 might also give educators a few headaches. Although vaccines have arrived, much uncertainty remains surrounding new variants, and teachers must prepare for any eventuality.
You can do quite a bit to lighten their load and show them some well-deserved appreciation. Here are eight creative ways to support your child’s school this year.
1. Throw a Movie Night
Now that school is back in live session in many jurisdictions, it’s time to return to extracurricular activities. However, many schools maxed out their budgets in last year’s mad scramble to provide distance learning supplies to students in need. You and the other parents in your group might have to get a bit creative in suggesting activities.
For example, why not throw a movie night? You can find organizations that handle everything from the popcorn to the screen, leaving you with only one bill to pay. They’ll also assist with local health codes, given the increased COVID restrictions in some areas.
2. Show Up for School Events
Your presence alone at events like back-to-school-night goes miles to show your child’s educators how much you care. Many teachers put considerable time and effort into preparing for such meet-and-greets, only to have few parents attend. Plus, you don’t want to miss out on a valuable opportunity to learn information about your child’s classroom experience.
Therefore, please make every effort to attend these functions. If you have a schedule conflict, reach out to your child’s instructor. Provide your preferred contact information and ask to set up an alternative time to chat. Your child’s educator will appreciate your efforts to maintain open communication lines.
3. Host a Teacher Luncheon
Teachers seldom get a hot — or even cold — meal to themselves during the school day. Depending on your district’s COVID restrictions, they might now find themselves eating in the classroom with their students.
Why not treat them to a special luncheon they can enjoy? You might have to harness the power of their prep periods to give everyone a chance to partake. However, you can set up a catered luncheon in the breakroom so that they can relax for a few blessed minutes of peace, coffee and danish.
4. Chaperone a Field Trip
Your child probably looks forward to the return of field trips. You can help their school get back to normalcy faster by volunteering your presence as a chaperone.
Be sure to add value to the group when you join them. Look after other kids — not only your own. Avoid spending too much time on your phone and get involved with the various activities. Abide by and enforce all safety rules, including not leaving with your child before locating your child’s teacher and announcing your departure if driving separately. Otherwise, they could spend hours scouring the grounds for your kid after you’ve already left.
5. Spend Time in the Classroom
Even though enrollment has increased, today’s schools employ far fewer educators and support staff than they did in previous years. The result is overcrowded classrooms. It’s not that teachers don’t want to do the best job possible, but they can only devote individualized attention to one student at a time while minding the rest of the class.
You might not be able to directly impact class sizes at your school. However, you can spend time in your child’s classroom. You don’t have to know anything about education — even an extra adult presence can inspire children to act more mindfully, reducing distracting behavioral issues so that your child’s educator can focus on delivering an engaging lesson.
6. Lend Your Technical Expertise
There’s still much scientists don’t know about the novel coronavirus. While further shutdowns are unlikely, educators need to prepare for any eventuality, including returning to a hybrid in-person/virtual schedule. Doing so can lead to technical snafus despite months of experience.
Therefore, speak up if you have technical expertise you can share. You might offer to help your child’s teacher set up their website so that they can improve communication between the classroom and parents. Perhaps you know how to troubleshoot software and can give them a hand when students need to download new software to their school-issued tablets.
7. Demonstrate a Positive Attitude Toward Education
Children tend to adopt their parent’s attitude toward education. If you express the opinion that “book learning never taught you anything,” what are you teaching your child about the value of paying attention in school?
Please express positive attitudes toward education. You don’t have to ignore reality — in many cases, trade school is a better choice than college for some students. However, you should emphasize that everyone needs a basic core of knowledge to fully participate in society and express interest in your child’s studies.
8. Send Random Care Packages
You know the drill. Your child’s teacher sends home their wishlist, and you add a few items to your back-to-school shopping list. As a result, classrooms overflow with hand sanitizer and tissues the first month.
However, once October or November rolls around, stockpiles begin to dwindle. Therefore, it’s the best time to surprise your child’s teacher with a care package of classroom supplies. If you feel extra-generous, mark your calendar for delivering some goodies halfway through the spring semester, too.
Support Your Child’s School These 8 Creative Ways This Year
Your child’s teacher had a crazy 2020/21 school year, and this one is gearing up to offer plenty of challenges. Why not show your support in these eight creative ways this year?