I am a teacher who calls each family before the first day of school. These phone calls are a first step in developing trust between myself and my student’s parents. If your teacher has not called you, or you missed their phone call, don’t hesitate to reach out. Hearing that teacher’s voice and having a short chat about your child will steady your heart. When that phone call happens, remember the three B’s: be bold, be balanced, be brief. Be bold to share your anxieties but stay balanced by not overstating things. A simple, “My child may struggle with this issue. Thank you for caring for them as they go through their day,” is clear and encouraging to your teacher. Above all, be brief. Respect the teacher’s time and you will develop a two-way trust relationship.
In regards to communication, it is a great idea to read the notes that come home with your child. Sometimes the answers you need are in the monthly newsletter, or field trip note or homework message. If you still have unanswered questions, write a brief note to your teacher. Last year, when I forgot to send home our usual homework, I was relieved not to receive a ton of phone calls. Instead, several parents wrote on the daily page, “homework not in tote” (smiley face). This built trust that parents were checking for homework but were not freaking out if I didn’t get things right every week.
At our school the teachers pray for each of their students throughout the week. Last year one of my students told me her family had been praying for me each night for the entire week. My heart glowed with the warmth of that gesture. Pray for your children’s teachers to have wisdom and discernment. Pray for their health and peace and joy. Then, pray for your children. Pray for courage to persevere through new things, pray for joyful discovery that will lead them to greater knowledge of the world God has created for them. Then, pray for yourself. Pray for courage. Pray for peace and joy as you move through your day. Prayer is the most powerful way to help you build a heart of trust for the teachers God has appointed for your children this year.
If your child is struggling in school, you need a teacher to affirm and voice what you already know, “Your child is of great value and has within them the ability to become an amazing young man or woman for God.” Teachers who trust in the goodness of your child’s heart will earn your trust. Likewise, teachers need your affirmation. After working diligently to come alongside you for the development and growth of your child, teachers often wonder if parents approve. Sure, we love gifts, but the greatest gift is learning that you trust our heart to be for your child. I love it when parents say, “I’m so thankful God made you our child’s teacher this year.” I instantly feel trusted and valued and want to do everything in my power to be worthy of your praise.
This school year, build trust with your child’s teacher through communication, prayer, and affirmation. You may just find it to be the best year ever!
The Author Joleen Steel, holds a BA in Elementary Education with a specialization in Early Childhood. She has taught kindergarten, Second grade, and Preschool. She is the former owner and lead teacher of New Song Music Studios. Mrs. Steel is the author of Music for Little Learners as well as several children’s books. In her spare time, she speaks at homeschool events and women’s retreats about raising disciples who disciple others. Mrs. Steel is married to Pastor David Steel, and together they have three boys and a cute dog named Molly.