This post was originally featured in Mediaplanet.
Teachers deliver so much to our nation’s children — inspiration, motivation and, ultimately, their futures. Among the many ways teachers go the extra mile, they often spend their own money to ensure students have access to supplies and resources that will enable them to receive the best possible education.
To help empower teachers and ensure a successful school year, it is vital to be a partner in children’s learning and give back whenever possible. Here are 10 ways families can partner with and support teachers:
1. Get to know one another
Develop a relationship with your child’s teacher and keep in touch with him or her often.
2. Make a connection
Find out the best way and time to contact teachers and provide teachers with the best way to contact you.
3. Keep everyone in the loop
Supply information that will help your child’s teachers get to know him or her as an individual, such as allergies, behavior or learning issues, or changes in family life.
4. Work as a team
Set learning goals with your child and his or her teacher, and foster the achievement of those goals.
5. Monitor progress
Review your child’s notes to ensure he or she is on track.
6. Stay involved and ask questions
Look in your child’s backpack every day and frequently view the parent portal for assignments, grades and important information from teachers and the school.
7. Be available at home
Assist your children with his or her homework and talk about school matters at home.
8. Donate time
Actively participate at school when possible and volunteer in the classroom or at school events.
9. Do some legwork
Contribute your talents and skills, and aid teachers with tasks that will assist them in the classroom, like cutting out materials for class projects or helping create pieces for bulletin boards.
10. Provide for the classroom
Donate school supplies — pencils, markers, paper, scissors, crayons, tissues, disinfecting wipes — to help make sure teachers and students have the resources they need for teaching and learning, and to keep classrooms healthy.
Each year, the first full week of May marks Teacher Appreciation Week. This week is an important time to thank and celebrate teachers for their hard work and dedication to ensuring every child succeeds, but remember that every day is an opportunity to partner with and support teachers.
Laura Bay is president of National Parent Teacher Association (National PTA), a nonprofit association dedicated to promoting children’s health, well-being and educational success through family and community involvement.